Here are the Democrats who have called on Biden to withdraw or be replaced

President Biden is facing increased pressure from some high-profile Democrats who are calling for him to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race or be replaced as the party’s nominee following his poor debate performance against former President Trump.

Biden, 81, faced off against Trump, 78, last month in the first debate of the 2024 general election, during which the president appeared to stumble over his words and lose his train of thought. The incumbent’s voice was raspy for a good portion of the 90-minute debate, while his delivery frequently halted and he showed difficulty stringing together his ideas.

His poor showing sparked immediate panic from some within the Democratic Party over his prospects of beating Trump in November and effectively leading the nation for another four years.

Biden, who is the Democrats’ presumptive presidential nominee, has maintained he has no intention of dropping out.

Here are the Democrats who have explicitly called for Biden’s withdrawal or replacement.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas)

Doggett was the first House Democrat to publicly urge Biden to remove himself from the 2024 race, arguing he failed to “effectively defend” his accomplishments and expose Trump’s “many lies.”

The Texas Democrat, who has served in the House since 1995, said he hoped the debate would “provide some momentum” to boost Biden’s numbers, but that did not come to fruition. Noting Biden’s accomplishments, Doggett said it is time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders.

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)

Grijalva became the second House Democrat to ask Biden to leave the race on Wednesday, telling The New York Times that he will still back Biden if he stays in, but that it’s time for a new name at the top of the party’s ticket.

“If he’s the candidate, I’m going to support him, but I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere,” Grijalva told the newspaper. “What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping that seat — and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race.”

Former Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio)  

Ryan argued Vice President Harris should replace Biden on the Democratic ticket this fall, stating “too much is at stake.”

Calling Biden’s debate performance “deeply troubling,” the former congressman said the election should be about “generational change.”

“Harris has significantly grown into her job, she will destroy Trump in debate, highlight [the] choice issue, energize our base, bring back young voters and give us generational change. It’s time!” Ryan wrote in a social media post Tuesday.

Julián Castro

Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, said Tuesday that it’s “very likely” Biden will lose the November election to Trump and asked the president to bow out.

“Joe Biden is a good man and has been a good president,” Castro wrote on the social platform X. “But last week’s debate disturbingly demonstrated that he is unable to effectively prosecute the case against Donald Trump — much less inspire and mobilize voters to the polls.”

“Sadly, President Biden is not the campaigner he was in 2020 — and looks very likely to lose to Trump, one of the weakest candidates in presidential history,” he continued. “I am convinced that a number of other Democrats, including Vice President Harris, stand a better chance of winning.”

Adam Frisch

Frisch, a Democrat running for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, said Biden’s withdrawal from the 2024 race would be “best for the country.”

The House hopeful said Biden’s debate performance “only reinforced” the argument neither Biden nor Trump should be seeking reelection to the Oval Office.

“We need a President that can unite America to realize our nation’s unlimited potential,” Frisch wrote in a statement Tuesday. “We deserve better. President Biden should do what’s best for the country and withdraw from the race.”

Michael B. Moore

Moore, the Democratic nominee running against Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), said Thursday that Biden should bow out for “the preservation of our democracy and institutions.”

“This is the most consequential election of our lifetime,” he wrote in a statement. “What happens this November will set our country and our democracy on one of two courses, and the outcomes will be felt for generations to come. The party needs to come together to identify and rally around a new nominee, and look to President Biden’s experience as the only candidate to beat Donald Trump less than four years ago.”

“The Democratic Party and our new nominee must move forward together in a way that builds upon President Biden’s deep legacy of accomplishment to ensure that our American way of life remains intact and is protected,” he added.

James Carville

Carville, a longtime Democratic strategist, said Biden should be replaced.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked Carville what the Democrats should do to respond to concerns over the debate, and the strategist replied, “Something different.”

“Everyone saw what they saw on Thursday night. I don’t take any pleasure in this,” he added. “President Biden’s a great guy, I’m a great guy too. I don’t have any business running campaigns anymore.”

Carville noted he “really likes” Biden, but the country “wants something new.”

“Why are we fighting this inevitable desire?” he said. “Give the people a shot, let them see who’s in the party, and I believe there’s staggering talent in the Democratic Party. Get out of the way and let a thousand flowers bloom.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.)

Moulton said on Boston-area radio station WBUR on Thursday that Biden “has done enormous service to our country, but now is the time for him to follow in one of our founding father’s, George Washington’s, footsteps and step aside to let new leaders rise up and run against Donald Trump.”

A day before, Moulton had said that his party should look into “all viable options,” as questions swirled around President Biden being able to remain at the top of the Democratic ticket.

“When your current strategy isn’t working, it’s rarely the right decision to double down. President Biden is not going to get younger,” Moulton said in the Wednesday statement.

Rep. Mike Quigley (Ill.)

Quigley joined Moulton, Grijalva and Doggett in publicly calling on Biden to step out of the race Friday.

“Mr. President, your legacy is set. We owe you the greatest debt of gratitude,” Quigley said in an interview on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” in reference to Biden. “The only thing that you can do now to cement that for all time and prevent utter catastrophe is to step down and let someone else do this.”

Rep. Angie Craig (Minn.)

In a statement posted to X, Craig said she has “great respect for President Biden’s decades of service to our nation and his steadfast commitment to making our country a better place.”

“However, given what I saw and heard from the President during last week’s debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from the President himself following that debate, I do not believe that the President can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump,” Craig said later in the statement.

Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) 

Smith is the most senior Democratic lawmaker to publicly call on Biden to withdraw.

“Well, look, I think he should step aside. I think it’s become clear that he’s not the best person to carry the Democratic message,” Smith, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “And here’s the thing. We have an incredibly strong message and record to run on.”

The Washington lawmaker said he is in favor of having Vice President Harris at the top of the ticket.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (N.J.) 

Sherrill said she believes the risk of Trump winning reelection in November is too high to take a chance on a candidate who is facing mounting concerns about his viability.

“I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of democracy first and foremost in their considerations,” Sherrill said. “And because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.”

Rep. Pat Ryan (N.Y.)

Rep. Pat Ryan, a vulnerable House Democrat, became the eighth sitting House Democrat to call on Biden to step aside from the 2024 race.

Ryan — who represents New York’s 18th Congressional District — told The New York Times in an interview published Wednesday that he does not believe the president is the strongest Democrat to take on former President Trump in November.

Actor George Clooney

Actor George Clooney, who recently hosted a star-studded fundraiser for Biden’s campaign, is reversing course, saying Democrats are “not going to win in November with this president.”

“I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced,” Clooney said in an editorial published Wednesday in The New York Times.

“But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can,” he added.

Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) 

Blumenauer was the ninth House Democrat to publicly call for Biden to withdraw from the race.

Applauding Biden’s accomplishments in his first term, the Oregon Democrat said that “the question before the country is whether the president should continue his candidacy for re-election.”

“This is not just about extending his presidency but protecting democracy,” Blumenauer said. “While this is a decision for the president and the first lady, I hope they will come to the conclusion that I and others have: President Biden should not be the Democratic presidential nominee.”

Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) 

Welch is the first Senate Democrat to publicly urge Biden to step down.

“I, like folks across the country, am worried about November’s election. The stakes could not be higher. We cannot unsee President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the valid questions raised since that night,” Welch said.

“He [Biden] needs to reassess whether he is the best candidate to do so. In my view, he is not,” he continued. “For the good of the country, I’m calling on President Biden to withdraw from the race.”

Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.)

Scholten added her voice to the mounting list of Democrats calling for Biden to withdraw from the race against Trump Thursday, becoming the 10th Democrat to make that call.

“President Biden has spent his life serving our nation and building the next generation of American leadership,” Scholten, who represents a seat Biden won by roughly 9 points in 2020, said in a statement. “For the good of our democracy, I believe it is time for him to step aside from the presidential race and allow a new leader to step up.”

Judy Kurtz, Caroline Vakil and Mychael Schnell contributed.

First published on July 6. Updated July 11 at 1:11 p.m.

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