Sen. Tina Smith says she has ‘a lot of concerns’ about Biden

Smith's comments didn't go as far as Rep. Angie Craig, who called for Biden to end his reelection bid. 

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Sen. Tina Smith speaks at a May 2, 2024, press conference at the U.S. Capitol. (Philip Yabut/Shutterstock)

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith told reporters on Capitol Hill Monday that she has “a lot of concerns” about President Joe Biden amid continued fallout from the 81-year-old president’s debate performance last month.

“I have a lot of concerns, and I’m not the only one,” Smith told reporters upon returning to Washington after the July 4th recess, according to The Hill.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of concerns from folks back home in Minnesota. I mean, I think right now, our party is having a big robust discussion about what comes next and what we should do. And I actually think that that’s healthy,” she added. “There’s no simple path here. There’s no simple path forward.”

The senator from Minnesota then refused to say whether she supports Biden staying in the race, according to The Washington Examiner. In January, she mocked fellow Minnesotan Dean Phillips for challenging Biden in the Democratic primary because of his concerns about the president’s age and electability.

Phillips, a third-term congressman who suspended his presidential campaign in March, had only this to say in response to Biden’s debate performance: “Speak only if it improves upon the silence.”

President Biden referenced Phillips’ primary challenge in a letter to congressional Democrats Monday, although without explicitly naming him.

“This was a process open to anyone who wanted to run. Only three people chose to challenge me. One fared so badly that he left the primaries to run as an independent. Another attacked me for being too old and was soundly defeated. The voters of the Democratic Party have voted. They have chosen me to be the nominee of the party,” said Biden in an attempt to address mounting concerns about his candidacy from within his own party.

Smith’s comments didn’t go as far as Democratic Rep. Angie Craig, who represents Minnesota’s most competitive swing district and on Saturday called for Biden to end his reelection bid.

“Given what I saw and heard from the President during last week’s debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from the President himself following that debate, I do not believe that the President can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump,” Craig said.

Other Minnesota Democrats have offered a mix of reactions to the questions surrounding Biden’s candidacy. In statements to Fox 9, Rep. Ilhan Omar said she’s standing by Biden while Sen. Amy Klobuchar provided a more muted statement, simply saying the president has a “critical” week ahead and “must demonstrate to the American people that he can win.”

 

Anthony Gockowski
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Anthony Gockowski is Editor-in-Chief of Alpha News. He previously worked as an editor for The Minnesota Sun and Campus Reform, and wrote for the Daily Caller.