First Democrat lawmaker calls on Biden to exit 2024 race

Polling after the presidential debate show Biden’s Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, gaining a more decisive lead.

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump squared off on Thursday night in the first of two scheduled debates of the 2024 presidential campaign.  (CNN/YouTube)

(The Daily Signal) — Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, is calling on President Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race.

Doggett is the first elected Democrat to call for Biden to step aside from the race after most Democrat leaders — including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and former President Barack Obama — publicly supported Biden after what many Democrats and even liberal pundits conceded was a poor debate performance on Thursday.

Polling after the presidential debate show Biden’s Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, gaining a more decisive lead.

“My decision to make these strong reservations public is not done lightly nor does it in any way diminish my respect for all that President Biden has achieved,” Doggett said in a public statement. “Recognizing that, unlike Trump, President Biden’s first commitment has always been to our country, not himself, I am hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw. I respectfully call on him to do so.”

Biden has reportedly not called congressional Democrats since it was deemed a disastrous debate.

Doggett made a historical comparison to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who withdrew from the presidential race in March 1968 amid deep unpopularity.

“I represent the heart of a congressional district once represented by Lyndon Johnson. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw,” Doggett said in his statement. “President Biden should do the same.”

The president and his family seem determined to remain in the contest. First lady Jill Biden told Vogue they “will not let those 90 minutes define the four years he’s been president. We will continue to fight.”

Doggett’s announcement comes the same day as a report that Democrat governors had a teleconference organized by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, CNN’s Jake Tapper reported. The governors did not have a specific message, but expressed they wanted to hear from Biden.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., strongly defended Biden for several days after the debate. Though, on Tuesday, Pelosi acknowledged it’s “legitimate” to question whether Biden’s debate performance was an “episode” or a “condition.”

“He has a vision, he has knowledge, he has judgment,” Pelosi said on MSNBC. “He has strategic thinking and the rest. He has a bad night. Now, again, I think it’s a legitimate question to say: is this an episode or is this a condition.”

A recent CNN poll found Trump leading Biden by 49% to 43%. Most pre-debate polls found Trump leading by one or two points.

A Morning Consult poll found that 60% of Democrats thought he should be replaced on the ticket. A separate YouGov poll found that 72% of voters say Biden lacks the the mental or cognitive health to serve as president.

During the Tuesday press briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mostly dismissed the concerns, noting Biden had a cold during the debate.

“He knows how to do the job, not because he says it, but because his record proves it,” she said. She went onto say that Biden, “knows how to get back up once you’ve been knocked down. … He knows how to come back.”

A reporter asked if the White House could release more medical records to reflect Biden’s mental acuity. Jean-Pierre responded the White House releases thorough medical records on the president every year.

“As it relates to something like a cognitive test … the medical team has said it is not warranted in this case,” the press secretary said, adding, “We understand. It was a bad night. It is not uncommon for incumbents to have a bad night on their first debate.”

Another reporter asked if Biden has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or degenerative illness.

“I have an answer for you, are you ready for it? It’s a no,” the press secretary said. “And I hope you are asking the other guy the same exact question.”

Trump, at 78, is a few years younger than Biden, 81.

Biden won every Democrat presidential state primary this year, with overwhelming victories over Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn. However, the nomination isn’t formal until delegates to the Democratic National Convention vote to nominate a candidate for president and vice president. The delegates are scheduled to vote by a virtual roll call the week before meeting in Chicago for the formal convention.

However, swapping out Biden for another candidate could run into legal hurdles. The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project noted last month that a national party can nominate a candidate, but a patchwork of state laws determines what a political party must do to substitute someone else as a presidential nominee.

The Biden family reportedly met on Sunday, and showed resolve to stay in the 2024 race. Biden held a rally in North Carolina the day after the debate and admitted, “I don’t walk as easy as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, I don’t debate as well as I used to,” but added, “But I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job, I know how to get things done.”

Biden’s first post-debate interview will air on ABC News on Friday.

This article was originally published at The Daily Signal


Fred Lucas
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Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of "The Right Side of History" podcast. Lucas is also the author of "Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump."