Democrat calling for Biden to drop out: ‘He looks very frail’

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) defended his call for President Biden to drop out of the 2024 race, arguing Monday it is not about loyalty but rather being “pragmatic” to ensure there is a “very strong” candidate at the top of the Democratic ticket.

Quigley, who publicly urged Biden to exit the race Friday, told CNN on Monday that Biden’s weekend appearances and sit-down interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos did not do anything to change his mind.

“My mind doesn’t need changing. It really doesn’t matter — I think it’s the voters, and as you see, the polling is going in the opposite direction. And that’s what’s particularly concerning,” Quigley said. “So I think we have to be honest with ourselves: The situation is not getting better. Frankly, it’s getting worse.”

Quigley said the president’s appearance during his interview with Stephanopoulos was “concerning.”

“Perceptions are absolutely ruling in things like this in a campaign. He looks very frail. His voice is very soft. It’s not robust. And again, it is not how I perceive that. It’s how the American people perceive it,” Quigley said. “What I stressed to the president is: This isn’t just about you. It’s not about loyalty, it’s about being pragmatic.”

“We have to be honest with ourselves, it’s not just the White House at stake, and all of these seats are going to be very, very closely contested and only a handful of seats control both houses. Every vote counts, so the top of the ticket is essential that it be very strong,” he added.

Quigley is among the handful of House Democrats publicly urging Biden to reconsider his reelection run following his disastrous debate showing last month against former President Trump.

At least four senior House Democrats said Biden should step aside in a private call Sunday, while five other Democratic lawmakers, including Quigley, called on him to drop out last week.

Quigley predicted the number of Democrats calling on Biden to drop out will grow this week, forecasting the coming days will be an “unfortunately horrible week.”

Biden has maintained he intends to stay in the race. He again rejected calls to drop out of the race in a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, urging them to unite behind his candidacy.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden wrote. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together.”

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.