‘He had one bad night!’ Indian American Democrats stand by Biden

“Electing a con man, a convicted felon, and serial liar whose plans threaten to unravel our democracy is not an option,” said Harini Krishnan, referring to Trump.

Harini Krishnan (center), national director of South Asians for Biden, is shown with a group of volunteers for the Biden-Harris re-election campaign / Courtesy Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Following a disastrous debate night last week, several Indian American organizations are pledging to stand by President Joe Biden, even as pressure mounts for him to drop out of the race.

Democrats have had several days of soul searching since June 27 after Biden’s erratic performance on the debate stage, which contrasted wildly with Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s confident performance. Biden grasped for words, sometimes losing his thought midstream during a sentence. 

He often trailed off incongruously, failing to fend off baseless attacks and falsehoods by Trump, who took the offensive early on and kept it throughout the 90-minute match-up hosted by CNN in Atlanta, Georgia.

At age 81, the President’s mental and physical fitness have been a concern of critics and supporters. Calls for Biden to “do the right thing” by bowing out began as soon as the debate ended, and have since continued. Several names have been offered up, including Vice President Kamala Harris. Political analysts say the optics would be bad for Democrats if the first Black and South Asian American female vice president was overlooked.

Harini Krishnan, national director of South Asians for Biden, told New India Abroad the organization firmly supports Biden. “He had one rough debate. He acknowledged that he is old, he stutters, and it was a bad performance.”

“But that doesn’t take away from 3 and a half years of historic accomplishments which have benefited our communities,” said Krishnan, who is also a DNC member elect. “Biden has created the most diverse administration in history with the largest number of South Asians ever.” 

“Electing a con man, a convicted felon, and serial liar whose plans threaten to unravel our democracy is not an option,” said Krishnan, referring to Trump, recently convicted on 34 felony charges in a hush money case involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels. 

In a separate case, Trump benefited immensely from a Supreme Court ruling which determined that presidents are immune from prosecution for any action taken while they are in office. In light of that decision, Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over the hush money case in New York, has delayed Trump’s sentencing hearing until at least September. He was scheduled to be sentenced July 11, ahead of the Republican National Convention, which begins July 15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Launched last April by the team that created South Asians for America, South Asians for Biden has hit the ground running with volunteers in 10 states. The organization is currently working to build teams in 6 key battleground states and hopes to have teams in all states by the end of September, according to Krishnan.

Shekar Narasimhan, co-founder of the AAPI Victory Fund has also declared that he stands firmly behind Biden. On debate night, Narasimhan tweeted: “Awful debate. Painful to watch. If folks started as ‘Biden is too old,’ it got reinforced. And if folks started as ‘Trump is unfit to be President,’ it got reinforced.”

He later told this reporter,  “Biden needs a better debate prep team. The party needs to move immediately to remind people how terrible Trump was and is.”

Mukesh Advani, an administrator for the online group Indian Americans for Biden-Harris, took a different stance. “I never thought I would say this but I join in the calls for Biden to bow out gracefully and let Kamala be on top of the ticket.”

“She is a woman of color which is her only drawback in a still racist society but she can overcome that. I am sorry, but Biden simply will not win,” said Advani.









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