House Dems calling for Biden to step down won’t say if they’ll back him in general election

Most of the House Democrats who have urged President Biden to bow out of the 2024 race are silent on whether they’d support him as the White House nominee if their calls go unheeded.

The 81-year-old leader’s disastrous debate performance two weeks ago has fueled concerns among his fellow Democrats that he may not be able to beat former President Donald Trump in November.

Reps. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Seth Moulton, D-Mass., Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., have all come out publicly urging Biden to step aside.

Fox News Digital reached out to each of the five Democrats via email multiple times on Monday and did not hear back. 

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President Joe Biden walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sunday, July 7, after returning from a trip to Pennsylvania. (AP/Susan Walsh)

Biden and his campaign have both maintained that he is staying in the race and is the best suited candidate to keep Trump from a second term. 

But even his allies are questioning whether he has the stamina and mental acuity to lead in his own second term, much less run a campaign until early November. Some Democrats have expressed concerns that his candidacy could drag down vulnerable leftists running for the House and Senate as well.

The window for Democrats to choose a new candidate, however, is rapidly closing and will likely be virtually impossible after the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Chicago in August.

The president wrote to congressional Democrats earlier on Monday making clear that he was not budging. 

“The question of how to move forward has been well aired for over a week now,” Biden wrote. “And it’s time for it to end. We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump.”

Trump Biden debate collage

President Biden and former President Trump squared off in their high-stakes 2024 election debate rematch on June 27. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, left, )

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The pressure only grew since then, with Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, adding to the calls for Biden to step aside during a CNN interview late afternoon on Monday.

Smith maintained during the interview that he would support Biden if he becomes the nominee in August, however.

Democratic lawmakers were largely evasive on Capitol Hill Monday night when Congress returned to session for its first full week since the debate. Those who did stop to speak to the media largely defended Biden and directed their ire toward Trump.

Adam Smith during a hearing

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., is the sixth House Democrat to urge Biden to end his re-election bid but said he’d support Biden as the nominee. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a Biden ally and the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, would not answer reporters’ questions on Biden’s candidacy after House votes.

When asked how he thought Vice President Kamala Harris would do at the top of the 2024 ticket, Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told reporters, “I think she’d be phenomenal. I think it’s time for a woman to be president…But Joe Biden is our president, and we’re going to support him.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said her group would be meeting with Biden sometime this week. She also took a veiled shot at fellow Democrats for publicly airing their frustrations with Biden.

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“I think it would be hard not to be concerned,” she said of Biden’s debate performance, before adding, “I think that he has been a really wonderful president the last three and a half years and has worked closely with the progressives.”

“I think the conversation is important to have right now because people do have concerns, but I just don’t think it should be in public.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., signaled she is sticking by Biden for now.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., signaled she is sticking by Biden for now. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Rep. Joe Morelle, D-N.Y., who reportedly expressed concerns with Biden’s candidacy on a House Democratic call Sunday, would not confirm those reports when asked by reporters but conceded he needed to see improvements in the president.

“Well I mean, I think the president, I’ve said, I think needs to demonstrate to the American public that what we saw in the debate is not normal state of affairs,” Morelle said. “Unfortunately, it’s a burden he has now, but he’s got to continue to do that, and he’s got to do it quickly.”

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Others, like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., emphatically stuck up for Biden as the Democratic nominee. Neither addressed concerns about Biden’s cognitive abilities. 

When reached for comment earlier on Democrat calls to step down, a Biden campaign spokesperson pointed to his comments at a Wisconsin rally on Friday.

“I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump,” Biden said.

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