Joe Biden Facing Potential Rebellion from Democratic Senators

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia is attempting to assemble a group of his Democratic colleagues to ask President Joe Biden to conclude his presidential run, according to a report on Friday by the Washington Post.

The Post said it spoke to two people with direct knowledge of Warner’s effort.

The Virginia senator believes that Biden can no longer remain in the race against former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, following his highly criticized debate performance last week.

Warner spokeswoman Rachel Cohen would neither confirm nor deny to the Post that the senator thinks Biden needs to drop out of the race.

Cohen issued a statement to the publication that stated, “Like many other people in Washington and across the country, Senator Warner believes these are critical days for the president’s campaign, and he has made that clear to the White House.”

Mark Warner at Dulles
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) speaks during an event to break ground on the Dulles Solar and Storage project on August 22, 2023, at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia. Warner said Biden should drop…

AFP/Getty Images

Newsweek emailed Warner’s office for additional comments Friday afternoon.

According to the Post, since the debate, the Democratic caucus has raised questions about Biden’s mental acuity and health.

“I think there is a sense among many that the current path may not be sustainable for him,” one Democratic senator told The Post. “Not because of the debate alone but how well he performs in the future. He obviously has to show strength right now.”

According to The Post, a meeting could be scheduled with Biden and the senators at the White House. As of Friday night, no sitting Democratic senator has publicly called for Biden to exit the race. However, according to the Post, there have been private conversations between Democratic senators about their concerns about the presidential race. In addition, the senators are reportedly worried about maintaining the Senate majority with Biden at the top of the ticket.

According to recent reports, around 40 Democratic lawmakers have been text messaging each other about Biden stepping down as the party’s presidential nominee, according to a member of the House of Representatives.

Two sitting Democratic House members, Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, and Lloyd Doggett of Texas, have called on Biden to step down.

Vice President Kamala Harris, a former senator from California, is seen as the most likely replacement should Biden withdraw from the race. Harris has a marginally better chance than Biden of winning the Electoral College in a 2024 race against Trump, according to analysis.

Biden still has a path to victory in the upcoming presidential election, but he needs three critical swing states—Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—in order to win. However, he’s currently trailing Trump, albeit by a slim margin, in those states, according to recent polling.

Warner has not yet commented publicly on Biden’s debate performance. His Virginia co-senator, Tim Kaine, told The Progress-Index newspaper, “The bottom line is, Joe Biden is our president. He’s a patriotic American. He’s done a good job. He puts others first, not himself. He had one race that was an existential race in 2020 and he had to win it. He’s racked up a great record as president.”

Senator Maggie Hasson of New Hampshire said Friday that she is standing firmly behind Biden’s reelection campaign.

“Joe Biden had a bad debate. Donald Trump had a horrific presidency,” Hasson told WMUR-TV.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman criticized the media this week over their coverage of Biden.

On Thursday, Fetterman posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, including a screenshot of a recent story from the New York Times which said that “Biden stumbles over his words as he tries to steady reelection campaign.”

Fetterman slammed the reporting from the New York Times and said “the twice-impeached, consumed by revenge, 34 felony convictions, serial liar, vowed to be a dictator, Project 2025 Trump …” referring to former president Trump.

“Yet, the media still obsesses on smearing a good President and decent man. If anyone lost their way, it’s The New York Times,” Fetterman wrote.

The Post reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has instructed senators to try to wait until there is more polling data about Biden and Democrats’ standing.

At a press conference three days ago, Schumer said that he and Biden “worked hard together for four years and we’ve delivered a lot for America and for Central New York. I’m for Biden.”

When contacted for comment, a Biden campaign official pointed Newsweek to several achievements by the campaign since the debate.

At a rally Friday afternoon in Wisconsin, Biden said, “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump.”

The president also attempted to reassure rally attendees that his age wasn’t of concern.

“You’ve probably also noticed a lot of discussion about my age…I wasn’t too old to create over 15 million more jobs, to make sure 21 million Americans are insured by the ACA, to beat Big Pharma…to pass the biggest climate bill in the history of the world.”