Telephone for Joe: MSNBC being used as vessel for Democrats with different Biden plans in mind

The break in the Democratic Party on President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection is playing out on a major left-leaning network as the presidential election heats up in an unprecedented manner.

If the Biden White House has traditionally counted on MSNBC to be a safe haven for the president’s narrative, it is now facing a harsher reality. From congressional leaders to campaign operatives, liberal pundits, and the president himself, the network has hosted a variety of opinions as everyone tries to get through to voters ahead of the 2024 election.

While the Democrats’ political saga is playing out in front of the public from coast to coast, it has largely been on MSNBC that the biggest moments in Biden’s battle to remain on the ticket have played out.

On Monday, President Joe Biden used the network to adamantly shut down rumors he might step aside as the presumptive Democratic nominee. 

“The bottom line here is we’re not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere,” he told MSNBC’s host Joe Scarborough during a phone call interview. “I’m not letting up, Joe. I’m not letting up even a little bit.”

Two days later, one of the country’s most prominent Democrats took to MSNBC to offer a less enthusiastic commentary on Biden’s reelection bid. During an interview on Wednesday on Morning Joe, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared to give tactic permission to Democrats questioning the viability of a Biden win this November. 

Pelosi at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” she said. Pelosi continued to insinuate the president has yet to make a decision on his bid for reelection despite Biden’s fresh and unequivocal vow to stay in the race. “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short,” she warned as the year marches toward the November 5 election. The California Democrat later rushed to reframe her words, saying her appearance had been mischaracterized. 

Biden “can win in November,” Pelosi told ABC News later in the day. 

Later that day, Nicolle Wallace, one of MSNBC’s top hosts, appeared to side with Democrats questioning the viability of a Biden win. The frequent Biden defender lent her voice to suggest a change at the top of the Democratic ticket would be best for the party. 

Nicolle Wallace poses backstage at the 92nd Street Y. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

After worrying that the Democratic Party’s aging leader is dragging down congressional Wisconsin Democrats, the liberal political commentator implied it is time for Vice President Kamala Harris to take his place as the Democratic nominee. Harris is “magnetic,” Wallace claimed while lamenting she has “chops that don’t often get showcased.”

“Whatever happens next, the polls tell a very clear story about where the voters are on Joe Biden. I wonder what you think is possible if Kamala Harris took that top spot,” Wallace told her audience Wednesday.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes followed suit later Wednesday evening, worrying that Biden’s age “makes him increasingly likely to lose reelection to a Republican candidate,” though he remained perplexed former President Donald Trump, who is just a few years younger, isn’t put under the same scrutiny.


Biden is set to sit down with NBC’s Lester Holt for an interview next Monday. NBC is the parent company of MSNBC.

Biden is expected to field questions surrounding his mental acuity after his performance during the first presidential debate sent his party into a panic. The president’s stammering replies, incoherent words, and frozen appearance during the June 27 debate set in motion calls for the 81-year-old to step aside and let another candidate lead the party’s bid to retain the White House.

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