Leading House Democrat Calls for Biden to End Presidential Campaign

Alexander Korfiatis
Alexander Korfiatis
Saint Louis University Undergraduate Class of 2025. Studying Medical Sciences on the path to become an anesthesiologist assistant. Highly motivated to write about politics, particularly domestic.

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Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, has called for President Joe Biden to step aside. Smith told CNN in an interview that he “thinks [Biden] should step aside. I think it’s become clear that he is not the best person to carry the Democratic message.” Smith is the first high-ranking Democrat to call for President Biden to step aside publicly.

In private, however, many Democrats echo Smith’s call for Biden to step aside. On Sunday, while Biden had a campaign rally, leading House Democrats held an internal call and reportedly were heavily pushing the head of House Democrats, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), to call on Biden to step aside. The leading Democrats include strong Biden ally Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Adam Smith, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif) and Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY). Nadler is the top Democrat on the powerful Judiciary Committee while Rep. Morelle is the top Democrat on the Administration Committee, and Takano is a ranking member on the Veteran Affairs Committee.

President Biden continues to suffer blowback from his disastrous debate showing with former President Trump last month. Many Senate and House Democrats fear that their personal seats will be in jeopardy, especially in races that are expected to be closely contested, because of Biden potentially dragging down the ticket. They also fear that he could be allowing a potential second Trump term because voters view him as mentally incapable of doing the job. President Biden has remained resistant to any entreaties, bluntly telling Congressional Democrats that all discussion about his future should “end.”

The entreaties, however, have somewhat worked in Biden’s favor. Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (D-NV) has publicly stated his support. Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer stated that she will not run for President if Biden exited the race. However, the New York Times reports that a consensus among the rest of the Democratic political leadership is that Biden must go, even if that is unlikely.

Among donors, the feeling is also palpable. Donors reportedly do not want to expend money on a candidate they feel could lose. Instead, they would rather put more money into swing states and seat Congresspeople as a more effective way of using their money. Among both Hollywood donors and New York business donors, the feeling that Biden should leave the ticket and push Vice President Kamala Harris as the President has been both openly and privately discussed. Many donors signed an open letter discussing a change in the ticket after the debate. Currently, however, Biden’s place on the ticket is entirely up to him.