Democrat lawmakers, media outlets join calls for Biden to end campaign

 July 4, 2024

The nation was stunned last Thursday when President Joe Biden delivered what many viewed as an astonishingly bad debate performance against former President Donald Trump.

Since that night, the drumbeat for Biden to step aside and make way for an alternative candidate has only gotten louder, and a number of prominent Democrats – including Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas – got out in front to defect and issue their demands for a new path forward for 2024, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Dem defections begin

It was on Tuesday that Doggett took the title as the first current member of Congress to call on Biden to pull out of the 2024 presidential race.

While the Texas lawmaker offered kind words and gratitude for Biden's past service, he lamented the president's debate performance and said that he had “failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump's many lies.”

Noting his hope that Biden would “make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw,” Dogged said, “I respectfully call on him to do so.”

Adding his name to the growing chorus of those who suggested the need for a swift change at the top of the ticket was Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), who declared, “If he's the candidate, I'm going to support him, but I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere. What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping the seat – and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race.”

As the Examiner noted, a number of other noteworthy names within the Democratic Party ranks entered the discussion to concur with the sentiments expressed by Doggett and Grijalva, including, former Rep. Tim Ryan, former Obama-era Cabinet official and failed presidential hopeful Julian Castro, and congressional candidate Adam Frisch from Colorado.

Media outlets pile on

In what has been a surprise to many, a significant number of mainstream media outlets known for their historical friendliness toward the Biden administration have also stepped forward to urge his departure from the race, as The Hill reports.

Perhaps the most seismic development in this arena was the Friday demand from the New York Times editorial board that the commander in chief call an end to his presidential campaign.

Referencing the aforementioned collapse during the first debate, the board stated, “Voters...cannot be expected to ignore what was...plain to see: Mr. Biden is not the man he was four years ago,” and the paper further suggested that a continued campaign was a “reckless gamble” that could send Trump back to the White House.

Echoing those sentiments was New Yorker editor David Remnick, who deemed Biden “no longer a fluid or effective communicator” and “increasingly unsteady” to the point that persisting with the campaign “would be an act not only of self-delusion but of national endangerment.”

The clarion call for Biden's exit did not stop there, as institutions such as The Economist, the Chicago Tribune, and the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, with the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal stopping short of outright calling for the president to step aside but indicating that it is a move worthy of serious consideration.

Governors gather

Despite what appeared to be a rapid erosion of support for Biden among many of his traditionally reliable allies, a group of Democratic governors gathered at the White House Wednesday to listen to the president's plan moving forward and to make their own evaluations of the current state of affairs.

As Axios noted, Govs. Tim Walz (MN), Kathy Hochul (NY) and Wes Moore (MD) emerged from the meeting and spoke to the press, signifying their current support for Biden's continued campaign, with Moore also noting that the group was “honest about the feedback we're getting...and the concerns we're hearing from people.”

Though the skepticism of some commentators was piqued by the fact that Governors Gavin Newsom (CA) and Gretchen Whitmer (MI), both rumored to be under consideration as possible replacements for Biden, did not immediately provide comment to the press, both later confirmed respectively on X that the president is “all in” and “our nominee,” but whether those sentiments will hold as the days and weeks progress, only time will tell.

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