Four More Democratic Lawmakers Join Call for Biden to Leave Race: Reports

Four additional Democratic lawmakers on Sunday have reportedly joined the growing chorus for President Joe Biden to step down from reelection following his recent debate performance against former President Donald Trump.

After Biden’s dismal debate performance last month against Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, there have been growing calls for the president to drop out of the race and for another prominent Democrat, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, to become the party’s nominee. However, the president has vowed to stay in the race and Harris has made it clear that she fully supports him.

Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, have faced concerns about their age, however, Biden failed to quell those concerns during the debate after he appeared to lose his train of thought at times and stumbled in his responses. Biden’s team later said he had a cold and was suffering from jet lag.

According to sources familiar with a private phone call among Democratic House members on Sunday, Representatives Adam Smith of Washington, Jerry Nadler of New York, Mark Takano of California, and Joe Morelle of New York shared their belief that Biden should withdraw from the 2024 race, The New York Times and Politico reported.

Newsweek has contacted the office of the four lawmakers for further comment.

The conversation, which lasted over an hour, was convened by House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and involved a wide-ranging discussion about the party’s electoral prospects.

The four lawmakers who reportedly called for Biden’s withdrawal hold influential positions within the House Democratic caucus. Smith serves as the ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, while Nadler, Takano, and Morelle hold similar positions on the Judiciary, Veterans’ Affairs, and House Administration committees, respectively.

Newsweek has contacted the Biden-Harris campaign for comment via email on Sunday.

This latest development brings the total number of Democratic members of Congress publicly urging Biden to reconsider his candidacy to nearly a dozen.

Meanwhile, Representative Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, voiced concerns on Sunday about Biden’s potential impact on down-ballot races this election year. “At present, our down-ballot candidates in the Senate and in the House are doing well. They’re all ahead. They are running well ahead of the president. But you can only run so far ahead of the president,” Schiff said during an appearance on NBC News’ Meet the Press. He emphasized the need for Biden to consider not only his own chances against Trump, but also “the profound impact this decision, maybe the most important of his presidency, will have on the House, on the Senate, on the future of the country.”

Sunday’s phone call reportedly saw a frank exchange of views, with even those who stopped short of explicitly calling for Biden’s withdrawal expressing reservations about his chances against Trump. Sources from the reports indicate that there was a widespread sentiment among participants that Harris would be a stronger nominee and the logical choice to replace Biden should he exit the race.

Joe Biden
President Joe Biden speaks to the media at the White House on July 1 in Washington, D.C. Four additional Democratic lawmakers on Sunday have reportedly joined the growing chorus for Biden to step down from…

Getty Images/Andrew Harnik

Biden’s age and perceived cognitive decline have been persistent concerns for voters and party insiders alike. Biden is already the oldest serving president in U.S. history and would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

In an attempt to assuage these concerns, Biden sat for an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Friday. During the interview, Biden vowed to stay in the race, stating he would only drop out if “God Almighty” told him to. However, sources from the publications suggest that the appearance did little to quell the growing unease among Democratic lawmakers about his candidacy.

Political analysts suggest that the growing dissent within Democratic ranks reflects broader anxieties about the party’s prospects in what is expected to be a closely fought general election. Recent polls have shown Biden trailing Trump in several key battleground states, heightening fears among Democrats that they could lose the White House and potentially both chambers of Congress in November.

According to the national poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight, as of Sunday morning, Trump leads Biden by 2.3 points (42.1 percent to 39.9 percent). The race has been extremely tight, with predictions often flipping on who will be reelected.

The Biden campaign has yet to comment on the latest reports of internal party opposition. However, the president’s supporters argue that he remains the Democrats’ best chance of defeating Trump and point to his legislative accomplishments, including the passage of major infrastructure and climate change bills as evidence of his effectiveness as a leader.