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James Carville advises donors to freeze funds for candidates backing Biden: ‘If we don’t do something about this…’


Democratic consultants are still reeling from President Joe Biden’s failed presidential debate fallout and calling for bold moves for donors.

Speaking with a group of donors on a conference call on Tuesday, the discussion centered on whether or not to push Biden off the Democratic ticket, how to accomplish that, and whether Vice President Kamala Harris would be an improved alternative. Longtime Democratic strategist James Carville suggested donors stop funding candidates who continue backing Biden’s re-election campaign.

“The hour-long call Tuesday offered a glimpse at the panic inside the ranks of Democratic donors, as a parade of wealthy Democrats — some dialing in from vacation, and one taking jokes about skiing in the southern hemispheres — took turns asking Carville, Paul Begala, and Reid Hoffman adviser Dmitri Mehlhorn how they could push Biden out,” Semafor, which obtained a recording of the call from a donor, reported.

“Seventy-two percent of people want something different. Why not give it to them?” Carville asked on the call with donors to the Democratic SuperPAC American Bridge. “They’re just asking for a different choice.”

“What I would say is, if we don’t do something about this, I’m going to put you on call block on my cell phone,” he proposed.

The participants had concerns and fretted about the process during the call.

“What can we as donors do to encourage the change in the ticket?” one asked

“Continuing to have President Biden at the top of this ticket is giving people an excuse to vote for Donald Trump,” another donor noted.

“If you wake Joe Biden at three o’clock in the morning and ask him who’s president, does he get it right?” one donor wondered.

Mehlhorn, a Democratic investor and activist, seemed to lean in favor of keeping Biden on the ticket, noting the current alternative is not appealing to many voters.

“Kamala Harris is more threatening to those swing voters than a dead Joe Biden or a comatose Joe Biden,” he said. “So if Joe has to go, it’s gonna be Kamala and if it’s Kamala, it’s gonna be harder.”

He later said in an email viewed by Semafor that his words had been taken out of context, explaining that he had been trying to “reach the doubters by assuming for argument’s sake the extreme case of Biden being actually comatose.”

“Vice President Harris is a badass. A ticket with her at the top, combined with someone who balances her brand weaknesses (examples range from Mark Kelly to Andy Beshear to Roy Cooper to Josh Shapiro and many others), would absolutely be competitive with the criminally insane convicted felon the other side is committed to nominating,” Mehlhorn wrote. “We would lose Joe’s superpower brand, but we would gain other benefits and would still be competitive.”

At one point in the call, Carville tried to spin a silver lining to the disastrous debate.

“Maybe we look back on this thing and say, ‘This is the best thing that ever happened to us,’” he said. “If this would have happened to us on October fifth, we’d be more than bruised, screwed and tattooed. Maybe this will set it into motion something different.”

The former Bill Clinton aide shared his take during an appearance on CNN this week.

“If the Democratic Party can’t produce something different that 72% of people want, why do we exist?” he said on “The Lead with Jake Tapper” Monday. “What are we here for? I mean, the country is clamoring for change, and what are we going to offer them? The same stuff?”

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