WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris made a surprise appearance Wednesday on a Democratic National Committee call.

They reiterated to staffers they are in this fight for re-election together, according to three people familiar with the matter who were given anonymity.

The people said it was a pep talk, stressing the stakes of the election and returning to Biden’s previous post-debates comments that when he gets knocked down, he gets back up.

Democrats have raised increasingly urgent questions about Biden’s ability to remain in the race, much less win in November, after his shaky debate performance.

White House chief of staff Jeff Zients urged people during an all-staff meeting on Wednesday to tune out “noise” and focus on the task of governing.

Zients stressed to more than 500 White House aides on the call the accomplishments and the track record of the administration and said governing will become more crucial as the campaign season progresses.

Biden began making personal outreach on his own, speaking privately with senior Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons and South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, according to a White House official and others with knowledge of the conversations.

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