First elected Democrat calls on Biden to drop out of race

(The Center Square) – House Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas publicly called on President Joe Biden to “withdraw” from the presidential race Tuesday, the first elected Democrat to do so publicly.

“Having devoted his life to public service, President Biden has achieved much for our country at home and abroad,” Doggett said in a statement. “Stepping up to lead a Nation in crisis, President Biden helped rebuild our country from the devastation of a pandemic, an insurrection, and years of Trump wreckage. Yet, for more than a year, many Americans have indicated dissatisfaction with their choices in this election.”

Doggett’s bold move comes after a disastrous debate performance from the president last week sent Democrats into a panic and speculation on who could replace Biden, possibly in time for the Democratic convention this summer.

According to media reports, Democratic Senate and House candidates have expressed concerns that Biden will cost them their own election by affecting Democratic turnout.

“President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump,” Doggett said. “I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It did not. Instead of reassuring voters, the President failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies.

“Our overriding consideration must be who has the best hope of saving our democracy from an authoritarian takeover by a criminal and his gang,” he added.

While the media has widely reported on Democrats’ concerns since the debate, Doggett’s public call could start a chain reaction among Democrats to put even more pressure on Biden.

So far, Biden has waved off calls to drop out.

“I know I’m not a young man, to state the obvious,” Biden told supporters at rally in North Carolina in an apparent response to his debate performance. “I don’t walk as easily as I used to. I don’t talk as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to. But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong, and I know how to do this job.

“I know, as millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up!”

Biden stumbled, paused, and lost his train of thought several times during the CNN-hosted debate, drawing jabs from former President Donald Trump and widespread concern among the CNN panel, which panned Biden’s performance despite their liberal leanings.

Doggett echoed some of those concerns in his statement.

“Too much is at stake to risk a Trump victory – too great a risk to assume that what could not be turned around in a year, what was not turned around in the debate, can be turned around now,” he said. “President Biden saved our democracy by delivering us from Trump in 2020. He must not deliver us to Trump in 2024.”

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