Michigan Democrat: Time for Biden to ‘step aside’ from the presidential race

Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.) is adding her voice to the growing calls for President Biden to step down, becoming the 10th Democrat to urge the president to drop out of the White House race Thursday.

“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.”

Scholten noted that she would “respect” Biden’s choice if he decided to stay in the White House contest, explaining she would still choose him over former President Trump.

At the same time, she explained that “with the challenges facing our country in 2025 and beyond, it is essential that we have the strongest possible candidate leading the top of the ticket — not just to win, but to govern.”

She also urged Biden to “pass the torch.”

Nine other House Democrats have called on Biden to exit the race in recent days, most recently Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday.

Sen. Peter Welch (Vt.) on Wednesday became the first Senate Democrat to call for Biden to publicly step aside.

Biden’s disastrous debate performance has thrown a curveball into what was already a tumultuous election cycle, highlighting concerns over his age and mental fitness while raising questions about whether having the president at the top of the ticket could jeopardize critical downballot races.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), who is running for Senate to replace retiring Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), told donors on a call that Trump was leading Biden in her state in polling. Slotkin also reportedly said she was running for Senate because Stabenow was “doing a radical thing and passing the torch” — in a not so subtle jab at Biden.

Still, some Republicans believe some of the recent statements by Democrats calling for Biden to step down are election stunts.

“Everyone can see Scholten’s statement for what it truly is, a transparent election-year ploy to try to cling to her seat,” Mike Marinella, spokesperson for the House Republicans’ campaign arm, said in a statement.

“President Biden is sitting in the Oval Office because Hillary Scholten and Democrats hid the truth from voters and lied about the president’s condition. Hillary Scholten must answer the question: Is Joe Biden fit to serve as President?”

Updated at 11:50 a.m. EDT

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