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

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President Biden’s catastrophic performance at last week’s 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 over the past week, while the White House — and Biden himself — remain adamant he is the right man to lead the party against former President Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee.

BIDEN RESISTS MOUNTING PRESSURE TO STEP ASIDE

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.”
  • 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.”
Raul Grijalva

VAN JONES SAYS DEMOCRATS NOW PLANNING ON ‘HOW’ TO REPLACE BIDEN WITH HARRIS

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.”
  • Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.: “I think we gotta be honest with ourselves, this wasn’t just one bad debate performance. There are very real concerns, and you have to take the voters for where they are, not where you want them to be.”
  • 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.”
Nancy Pelosi on MSNBC

Democrats who support Biden as nominee

Twenty-three Democratic governors from across the nation descended on the White House on 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 Wednesday night. 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.”

california gov. newsom

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 posted to X on Saturday.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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