President Biden Wisconsin visit; Madison campaign stop

President Joe Biden, fighting to save his endangered reelection effort Friday, defiantly declared that "I’m staying in the race" during a campaign rally in a critical battleground state as he prepares to sit down for a network television interview where his every answer is sure to be scrutinized for evidence of his competency and fitness to run for office.

The president arrived aboard Air Force One at Dane County Regional airport in Madison around 1:15 p.m. 

Air Force One arrives at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison

A short while later, Biden spoke in front of roughly 300 supporters at a Wisconsin middle school. Biden again acknowledged his subpar debate last week, saying he "can't say it was my best performance" but that amid speculation over what he would do, he had an answer: "I am running, and I'm going to win again."

"I beat Donald Trump, I will beat him again." Biden said. "I'm staying in the race."

Biden made that pledge in a 15-minute speech in the Democratic stronghold of Madison – one week after a debate Democrats called devastating. 

"When you get knocked down, you get back up. I’m not letting a 90-minute debate wipe out four years of work," the president said. 

Supporters reassured

After the debate, some Democrats suggested the president should step down from the race. FOX6 News spoke before the rally with Biden supporters. 

"Do you think he’s up to the challenge of running in the fall?" asked FOX6's Jason Calvi.

"I think I’m undecided on that component, but support the party as a whole. And I think there are some great options, whether Biden and the cabinet he’s surrounded himself continues to go forward," said Jeremy London, Madison Biden supporter. 

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"The debate performance was concerning, but anyone can have an off day," said Andrew Rose, Madison Biden supporter.

"I’m supporting him, but I was a little worried after the debate," said Luke Pearson, Madison Biden supporter.

After the rally, Pearson said he was reassured. 

"I was so happy to see him so strong and definitive," Pearson said. 

Opposed to Biden

Across the street, FOX6 News found Dex, who said he will not vote for Biden. 

"He’s too old, man. Too old, I don’t know, I just feel like we need someone better, somebody who is able to speak for themselves," Dex said. 

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The president tried to calm fears – rallying hundreds. 

"We’re going to win Wisconsin," Biden said. 

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters in Madison

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll found Biden and former President Donald Trump tied in a head-to-head matchup among registered Wisconsin voters. Among likely voters, Biden led Trump 51% to 49%. 


Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin (AFP-WI) State Director Megan Novak

"The President finds himself back in Wisconsin this week to highlight the supposed success of ‘Bidenomics’ for Americans. However, the reality remains the same—Wisconsinites continue to struggle with high costs and inflation at the grocery store and gas pump. Despite the parade of Biden surrogate visits across our state, Wisconsinites recognize that every one of Biden’s allies—including Senator Tammy Baldwin—is responsible for enabling ‘Bidenomics’ and the economic hardships facing America today.

"While Senator Baldwin may distance herself from the President’s pit stop, she cannot escape her 95.5% voting record in alignment with President Biden. AFP-WI is committed to ensuring that this administration knows Wisconsinites have had enough of the Biden-Baldwin agenda."


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Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler

"Wisconsin Democrats are thrilled to welcome President Biden back to the Badger State at a critical moment–when the stakes of this election for the future of our democracy and our core freedoms have never been higher. 

"This week, Donald Trump’s hand-picked justices on the Supreme Court handed down a decision giving presidents a level of immunity that would make Trump's beloved dictators blush. He responded by sharing posts about military tribunals for his political opponents. Trump has bragged about his part in overturning Roe, robbing millions of the freedom to make their own decisions about their own bodies. And Trump and his allies at Project 2025 are planning a MAGA nightmare that would institutionalize the dark violence of January 6.

"As President Biden has reminded us many times, we are fighting a battle for the soul of our nation. It’s a battle that will touch every aspect of our lives. Democrats in Wisconsin are fully committed to the fight, with nearly 50 field offices across the state already open and more than 150 staff hard at work to ensure victory this November. We rally with President Biden in Wisconsin today, we will knock on doors and talk to voters every week until November, and we look forward to once again celebrating Biden’s victory over Trump when the votes are counted."