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Biden shocks with ‘stunning admission’ at posh fundraiser: ‘I’m not sure I’d be running if …’

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President Joe Biden’s unexpected candor about his reelection bid caused a wave of reaction on both sides of the political aisle.

CNN’s Jake Tapper was among those left wondering if the president should have even uttered the words in his “stunning admission” at a fundraiser Tuesday.

“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running,” Biden told donors, cautioning that Democrats “cannot let him win.”

The comment, made at the event at a private home outside Boston, “took senior Biden campaign officials and advisers by surprise,” according to CNN which cited “sources familiar with the matter.”

Back in Washington, D.C. later Tuesday, the president said to reporters on whether he’d run without Trump, “I expect so, but look — he is running, and I have to run.”

“A stunning admission by President Biden,” CNN’s Jake Tapper said as he kicked off the segment on “The Lead,” Tuesday.

“He now says if Donald Trump was not running for president in 2024, he’s ‘not sure’ that he would also be in the race. Those comments today at a fundraiser in Boston,” Tapper added as he brought on CNN political director David Chalian who remarked that it’s “behind closed doors” that the president “tends to reveal his inner-most thoughts.”

“What we’re seeing here is a real, clearly defined rationale for Biden pursuing reelection despite his current political standing, which is not that great in the polls, obviously, the conversation about his age, and concern among Democrats if he is the best candidate to put forward,” Chalian said.

“What Joe Biden is making clear with these comments, he clearly thinks — because he said, also, ‘Democrats cannot let Trump win,’ as a part of his comments — he thinks he is the single best Democrat to be able to defeat Donald Trump because he did so once. We’ll see if it plays out this way,” he added.

“I would also say, Jake, it raises the question — I know he’s the big front runner — what if Donald Trump is not the nominee? Does that mean President Biden’s going to reconsider the reelection effort if that is the key rationale for his running?” Chalian wondered.

Tapper could not get past the implications of Biden’s comment..

“Is this the kind of admission a candidate should be making?” he asked.

“It clearly will provide Donald Trump an opportunity here to talk about Joe Biden being more focused on him than anything else,” Chalian replied. “But I think if Joe Biden’s critical mission this time is starting to piece back his coalition of voters, some of which he has seen a diminishing support — reminding those voters of the contrast with Donald Trump, and that Donald Trump is the target here, could help rally the troops, if you will.”

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