Pod Save America Hosts Defend Themselves From Biden Campaign’s Thinly Veiled ‘Self-Important Podcasters’ Attack

The Biden-Harris campaign took a shot at “self-important Podcasters” in a fundraising email send to supporters Saturday night from digital strategy director Rob Flaherty — a jab that’s been widely interpreted as a direct shot at the hosts of “Pod Save America,” former Barack Obama staffers Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor and Dan Pfeiffer.

“If you’re like me, you’re getting lots of texts or calls from folks about the state of the race after Thursday. Maybe it was your panicked aunt, your MAGA uncle, or some self-important Podcasters,” the email began. “It’s a tough position to be in, so I thought it might be helpful to send you a few responses.” The campaign then listed seven talking points that Biden supporters can use in conversations with people who might be doubting the president’s ability to finish out his campaign.

The hosts expressed serious misgivings about Biden following his performance in Thursday’s debate. In response, the campaign insisted that calls from “the bedwetting brigade” demanding Biden drop out will result in Donald Trump’s victory in November. The problem, Politico wrote on Sunday, is that many who previously expressed worries about losing to Trump in 2016 were right — and expressing those same worries in 2024 might not be a mistake.

The podcast hosts and others who have expressed concern about Biden “don’t want to be having this conversation, either. They wish the debate meltdown didn’t happen. They like Biden, love his policies and think he’s been great at the job,” Politico noted.

In defense of the “Pod Save America” team’s reaction, Favreau told the outlet, “We’re the Democratic Party and we are the ones trying to fight for a democracy where you can disagree in thoughtful ways without being disagreeable, trust people to be adults and have a conversation. They seem to think that if there’s any criticism out there, it’s bad. My view is it’s OK to have this conversation now. I’d rather have it now than in October.”

On Thursday night’s post-debate episode of “Pod Save America,” Favreau kicked things off honestly. “Look. We always want to be honest with you guys. You don’t listen to us for us to sugarcoat anything. I think it was a f–king disaster. I think it was maybe the worst debate I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” he said. While the hosts remained highly critical of Trump’s policies, they found Biden’s performance deeply concerning. “Joe Biden just, in every single way, failed at that debate.”

Cohost Jon Lovett (who’s also appearing this fall on “Survivor”) framed the argument: “Is the riskiest path staying with Joe Biden, or is the riskiest path saying, ‘We want someone else’? And anybody who says that that is not a tough call right now is full of f–king s–t.”

The group revisited the topic Saturday during a live show in conversation with Mehdi Hasan, including staging a mock debate on the pros and cons of switching candidates at this point.

The hosts are hardly the only group who have expressed serious misgivings about Biden’s performance and the future of his campaign ahead of elections in November, following his poor debate performance and concerns about his age. Biden acknowledged his shortcomings at a campaign event in North Carolina on Friday, but insisted he will stay in the race.

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