Former White House chief of staff Ron Klain is confident that President Biden is the Democrats’ best shot at keeping the White House in 2024, and dared naysayers to find someone better.
In a lengthy interview with the New Yorker, Klain – who left his post this month – looked to history to show that taking down former President Donald Trump – who is vying for the 2024 GOP nomination – is no easy feat.
“Donald Trump in 2016 beat every comer in the Republican Party, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Scott Walker and Ted Cruz—he beat them all, and then beat Hillary Clinton,” Klain said. “There’s only one person who’s ever beaten Donald Trump, and his name is Joe Biden.”
Two polls from earlier this month showed that a majority of Democrats want someone else representing the part in the 2024 election. Klain challenged them to find someone better than the president.
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“[T]he people who have doubts about his candidacy better have a d–n good answer for who is going to beat Donald Trump other than Joe Biden. And that answer needs to be based on something other than past performance, because past performance produces only one answer to that question,” Klain said. “That’s how I see it.”
In addition to looking to his party’s future, Klain reflected on his two years in the White House, including what he considered the low point of his time with the administration: the events that took place during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. The quick exit resulted in the Taliban immediately retaking control of the country.
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“The darkest day of our, certainly my, two years here was the day we lost thirteen service members at Abbey Gate,” Klain said, referring to the terror attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. “No question about it. No question about it.”
Despite this, Klain called the evacuation “a tremendous achievement at a great cost by heroic men and women working on the ground,” praising Biden for providing whatever resources he could that were needed.
Klain admitted that he “understand[s] why the way that ended has been criticized,” but said, “the alternative to what we did would’ve been a lot of Americans dying in Afghanistan in a continuation of the longest war ever in this country’s history.”
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