Democrats Express Concerns About Biden’s 2024 Campaign

There has been growing concern among Democrats regarding Joe Biden’s recent debate performance, fueling anxieties about his ability to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming election.

However, thus far, a limited number of prominent Democrats have openly advocated for Biden to step down from the race.

One of Biden’s long-standing allies, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, remarked on MSNBC Tuesday that it is a “legitimate question” to ponder whether Biden’s pauses during the debate were “an episode or is this a condition?” Nonetheless, she refrained from calling for Biden’s withdrawal, stating that concerns should also be raised about Trump’s mental fitness. She acknowledged that opinions are “mixed” concerning Biden’s preparedness for the role but asserted, “I trust his judgment.”

South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, a crucial Democratic ally of Biden’s, disclosed on MSNBC Tuesday that he would offer his support to Vice President Kamala Harris should Biden decide to step aside. This statement, while expected from a co-chair of the Biden-Harris campaign, took on added significance during a week marked by intense speculation about Biden’s continued presence on the ticket.

While unlikely, Biden could choose to withdraw from the race before the election. Here are some prominent Democrats who have publicly called for Biden to step down.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Texas Democrat

Lloyd Doggett June 5

Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett was the first Democrat currently serving in Congress to advocate for Biden’s withdrawal. In a statement released on Tuesday, he cited Biden’s underwhelming poll numbers and debate performance as key factors in his decision. “President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump,” Doggett stated.  “I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It did not. Instead of reassuring voters, the President failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies.”

In his announcement, Doggett drew a parallel to former President Lyndon Johnson’s 1968 decision to withdraw from the Presidential race due to deep divisions within the Democratic party over the war in Vietnam. “I represent the heart of a congressional district once represented by Lyndon Johnson,” Doggett said. “Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same.”

Tim Ryan, former Ohio Congressman from 2003 to 2023

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Former Ohio congressman Tim Ryan called for Biden to step down in an OpEd article published in Newsweek on Tuesday, asserting that “it’s time” to elevate Harris as the party’s nominee. “We have to rip the band aid off! Too much is at stake,” Ryan wrote on X. Harris “has significantly grown into her job, she will destroy Trump in debate, highlight choice issue, energize our base, bring back young voters and give us generational change.”

Julian Castro, former Housing Secretary in the Obama Administration

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Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017 during the Obama administration, wrote on June 28: “Biden had a very low bar going into the debate and failed to clear even that bar. He seemed unprepared, lost, and not strong enough to parry effectively with Trump, who lies constantly.” On Tuesday, Castro stated on that “another Democrat would have a better shot” at defeating Trump.

Jason Lewis, Massachusetts State Senator

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Massachusetts State Senator Jason Lewis made the comment in a on June 28 in which compared Biden’s candidacy to a train about to crash. “Our choice is to, you know, jump off that train,” Lewis said.