2020 elections

Biden on phone call: ‘I'll be damned if we're gonna lose this nomination’

The former vice president tried to reassure supporters in a 13-minute call Wednesday.

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden — after his pair of devastating losses — tried to reassure supporters on an evening call Wednesday that “things haven’t changed” and that there’s been “no dropoff in our endorsers.”

Arguing that the primary is “still wide open,” Biden said he was "confident we can win South Carolina. I think we'll win Nevada, but it is a caucus which is a little bit different,” according to a recording of the roughly 13-minute call obtained by POLITICO.

Biden has long said he would perform better than his rivals once the primary reached more diverse states, particularly South Carolina. His campaign sees that state as a "launching pad" to Super Tuesday success.

But a looming Mike Bloomberg and poor showings compared to other fellow moderates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in the first two states has Biden's campaign on edge.

"The point is that, I want you to know [is] that things haven't changed in terms of responses we're getting, in terms of whether it's contributions online or whether it's endorsements since both of those primaries have taken place," he said.

Biden said he has raised more than $4 million online in the first 11 days of this month, including $453,000 online on Tuesday.

“So my point is that we've not seen any diminution in the energy or in endorsements,” he added.

Biden said he made clear to attendees at his South Carolina event Tuesday, which he left New Hampshire to attend, that the race “is just beginning and we're not anywhere near the end.”

“I'll be damned if we're gonna lose this nomination, particularly if we're gonna lose this nomination and end up losing an election to Donald Trump,” Biden said on the call, adding that he’s “not sugarcoating” his chances and that he “feels really good.”

“Obviously I'd have rather won both, don't get me wrong,” Biden said of his performance in the first two nominating states.

Biden pointed to Bill Clinton’s early losses in the 1992 primary before he went on to win the Democratic nomination. He went on cast doubt on the moderates who outperformed him in the first two states.

“I think it's going to be fairly hard for people like [Pete] Buttigieg to go South. I think it's going to be awful hard for Amy [Klobuchar] — and they’re good people — to go South.”

Biden’s surrogates were in full damage control mode on Wednesday after Biden placed fifth in New Hampshire, warning Democrats that other candidates in the field would hurt down-ballot candidates.

Biden's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.