Democrat who beat Biden in American Samoa calls for president to step aside

The Democrat who defeated President Biden in the American Samoa Democratic caucuses this year has joined the chorus of Democrats calling on the president to step aside in the presidential race.

Jason Palmer said in a phone interview with Semafor this week that one of his priorities is planning a trip to Wilmington, Del., to meet with Biden and encourage him “to do the right thing.” This echoes Palmer’s statement following last month’s debate, when he urged the president to take his “moment in the shade.”

“Yes,” Palmer said when asked if he would tell Biden to drop out if he met with him. “But I probably wouldn’t say that in the first sentence. It’s important to build a trusting relationship first.”

Biden lost the American Samoa Democratic caucus in March to Palmer, an entrepreneur who was making a long-shot bid against the incumbent. Palmer later endorsed Biden in April and founded a new political group called “TOGETHER!”

In his initial statement following the debate, Palmer noted that Democrats have “a deep bench of exceptional leaders” and said the country needs “young leadership.” He told Semafor that Biden should help find a replacement should he step aside.

“I work with a lot of companies where we’ve had to change the CEO of the organization,” Palmer told the outlet. “The best thing, when you’re doing a CEO switch, is to have the CEO 100 percent bought in. Let them help interview and select their replacement. Let them lead the transition. There really is an art to doing this.”

Palmer also said the Democrat Party should not hold a virtual roll call and instead “absolutely withhold the vote until the convention in person.”

“DNC leaders should survey the delegates — or maybe hold a formal vote,” he said. “Are they in favor of allowing other candidates or a miniprimary? Are they open to amending the bylaws, given this unique historical situation?”

The Democratic National Committee had been planning to nominate Biden ahead of its national convention next month via a virtual roll call to ensure his name made it on the Ohio ballot in November.

Despite numerous calls by Democrats urging Biden to drop out, the president has maintained he will be staying in the race. He dared other Democrats in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday to challenge him at the convention, arguing he is the best chance the party has to beat former President Trump.

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