Latest News 09-07-2024 13:06 7 Views

Campaign crisis: Dems who have called for Biden to drop out or raised concerns about his health

President Biden's catastrophic performance at the presidential debate has sparked panic among the Democratic Party’s hierarchy, with key players said to be mulling how to get him to abandon his re-election bid.

The situation has plunged the party into crisis and threatens to drive a wedge between Biden loyalists and elected officials in swing districts ahead of next month's Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 

Biden's top campaign aides have been working damage control with major donors, while the White House – and Biden himself – remain adamant he is the right man to lead the party against former President Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.

Democrats who say Biden should drop out

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas: 'I am hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw. I respectfully call on him to do so.'Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz.: 'I’m going to support [Biden], but I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere … What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility of keeping that seat – and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race.'Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass: 'President Biden has done enormous service to our country, but now is the time for him to follow in one of our founding father, George Washington's footsteps and step aside to let new leaders rise up and run against Donald Trump.'Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.: 'Mr. President, your legacy is set. We owe you the greatest debt of gratitude. The only thing that you can do now to cement that for all time and prevent utter catastrophe is to step down and let someone else do this.'Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn.: 'As an elected leader, I feel a responsibility to be honest about what I believe, even when it’s hard to hear. President Biden is a good man & I appreciate his lifetime of service. But I believe he should step aside for the next generation of leadership. The stakes are too high.'Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.; Mark Takano, D-Calif.; Don Beyer, D-Va.; and Adam Smith, D-Wash., reportedly expressed during a virtual meeting hosted by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on July 7 that Biden should exit the presidential race as the Democratic nominee on Sunday, and most of them said Harris should be the nominee, according to reporting by The Associated Press. Beyer later released a statement saying he supports Biden.Adam Frisch, candidate for Colorado's 3rd Congressional District: 'I thank President Biden for his years of service, but the path ahead requires a new generation of leadership to take our country forward.'

Democrats who have raised concerns 

Former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.: 'I think it's a legitimate question to say, ‘Is this an episode or is this a condition?’ When people ask that question, it's completely legitimate of both candidates.'Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez, D-Wash.: 'About 50 million Americans tuned in and watched that debate. I was one of them for about five very painful minutes. We all saw what we saw, you can't undo that, and the truth, I think, is that Biden is going to lose to Trump.'Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine: 'In 2025, I believe Trump is going to be in the White House. Maine’s representatives will need to work with him when it benefits Mainers, hold him accountable when it does not and work independently across the aisle no matter what.'Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa.: 'Maybe folks don’t want to hear, but we have timing that is running out. Time is not on our side. We have a few months to do a monumental task. It’s not cheap and it’s not easy. If our president decides this is not a pathway forward for him, we have to move very quickly. There’s not going to be time for a primary. That time is past. The vice president is the obvious choice. She’s sitting right there.'Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.: 'I do know this: I think that the American people want an explanation; they need to be reassured, and I hope that over the next several days, we’ll do that.'Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt.: 'I really do criticize the campaign for a dismissive attitude towards people who are raising questions for discussion. That’s just facing the reality that we’re in.'Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.: 'I think like a lot of people, I was pretty horrified by the debate… I think people want to make sure that this is a campaign that’s ready to go and win, that the president and his team are being candid with us about his condition – that this was a real anomaly and not just the way he is these days.'Gov. Maura Healey, D-Mass.: 'President Biden saved our democracy in 2020 and has done an outstanding job over the last four years. I am deeply grateful for his leadership. And I know he agrees this is the most important election of our lifetimes … the best way forward right now is a decision for the President to make. Over the coming days, I urge him to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump.'Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.: 'President Biden has got to prove to the American people – including me – that he’s up to the job for another four years.'Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa.: 'In a confidential conversation with other members of House Democratic leadership, I expressed the same concerns that Americans across the country are grappling with, about President Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket.'Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.: 'The performance on the debate stage I think rightfully raised questions among the American people about whether the President has the vigor to defeat Donald Trump. And this is an existential risk.'Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.: 'I expect complete transparency from the White House about this issue and a willingness to answer many legitimate questions from the media and voters about his capabilities.'Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.: Connolly, when asked on July 5 if President Biden still gives his party the best chance to win in November, said 'I don’t think we know that yet.'Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.: 'People are disappointed with what they saw last week. And I think it’s up to President Biden to answer what kind of path he can be on for the future — to restore confidence, or to pass the torch.'Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif.: 'We need a course correction. We’ve got to acknowledge that this was not just one bad night.'Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich.: 'President Biden has got to go out there, and in a sustained basis, show he has the stamina and can do the job.'Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif: 'This White House is going to have to be way less insular than they have been.'Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif.: 'The question just now is, is this a candidate who can win the election? Because as much as I love Joe Biden, in those swing states, he’s having a hard time.'Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H.: 'In order to respond to our constituents’ concerns, we need to demonstrate that the president is fit not just for the job, but for the campaign.'Rep. Don Davis, D-N.C.: 'If he is going to stay in, he needs to step up.'Rep. Hillary Scholten, D-Mich.: 'We have heard concerns from people who saw the president on Thursday night. I felt concerned and raised those concerns.'Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.: 'We’re having a serious conversation about what to do.'

Democrats who support Biden as nominee

Twenty-three Democratic governors from across the nation descended on the White House last Wednesday evening to meet with the embattled president, but after the gathering, only Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who leads the Democratic Governors Association, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore spoke to reporters to express their support. 

Moore described the meeting with Biden as 'honest' and 'candid' and said that the governors were 'going to have his back.'

Hochul said President Biden was 'in it to win it' and that the trio had pledged their support to him 'because the stakes could not be higher,' invoking on the eve of Independence Day, the fight against tyranny.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who many commentators have proposed as a possible Biden replacement, also took part in the White House meeting and backed the 81-year-old. 

'I heard three words from the President tonight – he’s all in. And so am I,' Newsom posted on X on July 3. Newsom also publicly backed Biden immediately following the debate. 

'You don’t turn your back because of one performance,' Newsom said after the debate. 'What kind of party does that? This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.'

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker has also publicly backed Biden, as has Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Hawaii Gov. Josh Green. 

Elsewhere, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a longtime Biden ally, has also expressed his support, as well as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

'A setback is nothing more than a setup for a comeback,' Jeffries has posted to X.

As for Democrat senators, Alex Padilla of California has said 'Joe Biden is going to be our Democratic nominee' while Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said Biden has 'always had Nevadans’ backs, whether it’s on the picket lines, protecting our personal freedoms, or lowering costs – now it’s time for us to have his.' 

Rep. Al Green of Texas has said 'I think that we need to move forward with Biden.'

'Any ‘leader’ calling for President Biden to drop out needs to get their priorities straight and stop undermining this incredible actual leader who has delivered real results for our country,' adds Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., also declared 'I don’t care what anybody says – it ain’t going to be no other Democratic candidate.'  And Sen. Bernie Sanders has said 'I'll do my best to get him elected.'

Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Greg Norman contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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