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Here are the Democratic lawmakers calling for Biden to step aside in the 2024 race

More Democrats call for Biden to drop out
More congressional Democrats call for Biden to drop out, campaign officials maintain he won't 04:02

Washington — A growing number of Democratic lawmakers have begun to call for President Biden to withdraw from the race in the wake of his debate performance last month. On Capitol Hill, they have been weighing arguments about whether Mr. Biden should be the party's nominee. 

So far, 31 House Democrats and four Senate Democrats have directly called on the president to exit the race:

House members calling on Biden to exit presidential race

  1. Lloyd Doggett of Texas: He became the first Democratic lawmaker to call on Mr. Biden to drop out, saying on July 2 that he was "hopeful that [Mr. Biden] will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw." 
  2. Raul Grijalva of Arizona: He told The New York Times on July 3 that what Mr. Biden "needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping that seat — and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race."
  3. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts: He told CBS Boston on July 7 that George Washington chose not to run for a third term, and Mr. Biden should follow that cue on another term. "I think that can be President Biden's legacy as well," Moulton said. "He defeated Donald Trump once and then he was willing to hand power over to a new generation of leaders. That's the kind of amazing legacy that a great president like Biden deserves."
  4. Mike Quigley of Illinois: Quigley said on MSNBC on July 5, "Mr. President, your legacy is set. We owe you the greatest debt of gratitude. 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."
  5. Angie Craig of Minnesota: Craig, who represents a key swing district, said in a statement on July 6, "This is not a decision I've come to lightly, but there is simply too much at stake to risk a second Donald Trump presidency. That's why I respectfully call on President Biden to step aside as the Democratic nominee for a second term as President and allow for a new generation of leaders to step forward."
  6. Adam Smith of Washington: Smith on July 8 called on Mr. Biden to end his candidacy "as soon as possible." He said in a statement that presidential candidates "must be able to clearly, articulately, and strongly make his or her case to the American people. It is clear that President Biden is no longer able to meet this burden." Smith told CBS News that if Biden announced he was ending his bid, "there would be a huge sigh of relief amongst just about every Democrat in the House." 
  7. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey: In a statement posted to social media July 9 following a closed-door meeting among House Democrats, Sherrill praised Mr. Biden's presidency but said she was asking that he "declare that he won't run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee." Sherrill said the "stakes are too high — and the threat is too real — to stay silent."
  8. Pat Ryan of New York: He said in a social media post on July 10 that he's "asking Joe Biden to step aside" in the upcoming election to "deliver on his promise to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders." The vulnerable House Democrat said, "Joe Biden is a patriot but is no longer the best candidate to defeat Trump."
  9. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon: On July 10, Blumenauer wrote in a statement that he hoped Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden had "come to the conclusion that I and others have: President Biden should not be the Democratic presidential nominee." The 75-year-old congressman, who has served in the House since 1996, declared that "there is no question in my mind that we will all be better served if the president steps aside as the Democratic nominee and manages a transition under his terms. He has earned that right."
  10. Hillary Scholten of Michigan: In a statement posted to social media on July 11, Scholten praised Mr. Biden's first-term accomplishments, but said that "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." The congresswoman said that if Mr. Biden decides to continue his campaign, she will vote for him but believes "it's time to pass the torch."
  11. Brad Schneider of Illinois: On July 11, Schneider said in a statement that it's time for "Biden to heroically pass the torch to a new generation of leadership," which he said would give the president a chance to "seal his place in history as one of the greatest leaders our nation, and history, has ever known."
  12. Ed Case of Hawaii: Case said in a July 11 statement that his decision to call on the president to withdraw "has nothing to do with his character and record," but Mr. Biden's "ability to continue in the most difficult job in the world for another four-year term." 
  13. Greg Stanton of Arizona: The congressman said in a statement on social media, "For the sake of American democracy, and to continue to make progress on our shared priorities, I believe it is time for the president to step aside as our nominee."
  14. Jim Himes of Connecticut: The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee called on the president to withdraw after his solo NATO news conference on July 11. "Joe Biden's record of public service is unrivaled," Himes said. "His accomplishments are immense. His legacy as a great president is secure. He must not risk that legacy." 
  15. Scott Peters of California: In a statement issued after Mr. Biden's July 11 news conference, Peters said, "The stakes are high, and we are on a losing course. ... We must find a candidate from our deep bench of talent who can defeat Donald Trump."
  16. Eric Sorensen of Illinois: In a post on social media following Mr. Biden's news conference to conclude the NATO summit on July 11, Sorensen wrote, "In 2020, Joe Biden ran for President with the purpose of putting country over party. Today, I am asking him to do that again. ... I am hopeful President Biden will step aside in his campaign for President."
  17. Brittany Pettersen of Colorado: On July 12, Pettersen shared a statement on her social media account urging Mr. Biden to step aside from the presidential race. She said he "saved our country once, and I'm joining the growing number of people in my district and across the country to ask him to do it again. Please pass the torch to one of our many capable Democratic leaders so we have the best chance to defeat Donald Trump."
  18. Mike Levin of California: Levin praised Mr. Biden's leadership and said he has respect for his decades in public services, but said in a statement that "the time has come for President Biden to pass the torch." The California Democrat went on to say that "it is time to move forward. With a new leader. Together."
  19. Adam Schiff of California: Schiff, who is running for Senate this fall, said in a statement that the nation is "at a crossroads," and "[a] second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the President can defeat Donald Trump in November." He added that he believes "it is time for him to pass the torch. And in doing so, secure his legacy of leadership by allowing us to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming election."
  20. Jim Costa of California: On July 18, Costa told CBS News that Mr. Biden should "pass the torch" and leave the 2024 race. 
  21. Sean Casten of Illinois: In an op-ed published in the Chicago Tribune, Casten joined the growing number of Democrats calling on Mr. Biden to withdraw as the Democratic nominee for president. He wrote, "It is with a heavy heart and much personal reflection that I am therefore calling on Joe Biden to pass the torch to a new generation."
  22. Jared Huffman of California
  23. Marc Veasey of Texas
  24. Chuy Garcia of Illinois
  25. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin: Huffman, Veasey, Garcia and Pocan issued a joint statement on July 19 warning that widespread concerns about Mr. Biden's age and fitness for office are jeopardizing his campaign and said the "most responsible and patriotic thing" he can do is step aside as Democrats' nominee for president.
  26. Greg Landsman of Ohio: On July 19, Landsman released a statement calling for a change in the Democratic race. He said that after "hundreds" of discussions with constituents, he came to the conclusion that "it is time for President Biden to step aside and allow us to nominate a new leader who can reliably and consistently make the case against Donald Trump and make the case for the future of America."
  27. Zoe Lofgren of California: Lofgren told Mr. Biden in a letter dated July 18 that his candidacy for president is on a path to lose not only the White House, but potentially down-ballot House and Senate races. "It is for these reasons that I urge you to step aside from our party's nomination to allow another Democratic candidate to compete against and beat Donald Trump in the November election," she wrote.
  28. Betty McCollum of Minnesota: McCollum said in a July 19 statement that Mr. Biden should release his delegates and empower Harris to become the Democratic nominee. She said that if Harris becomes the Democratic nominee, she should select Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as her running mate.
  29. Morgan McGarvey of Kentucky: McGarvey shared a statement to social media on July 19 stating, "there is no joy in the recognition [Mr. Biden] should not be our nominee in November."
  30. Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico: Vasquez said in a July 19 statement, "I believe too many of our fundamental freedoms and the wellbeing of our nation are at risk under a Trump presidency and President Biden should step aside to give Democrats the best opportunity to win this November." 
  31. Mark Takano of California: Takano said in a July 20 statement, "It has become clear to me that the demands of a modern campaign are now best met by the Vice President, who can seamlessly transition into the role of our party's standard bearer," the statement read. "Joe, I love and respect you. But the stakes are too high to fail. It's time to pass the torch to Kamala."
  32. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota: Phillips had challenged Mr. Biden for the Democratic nomination, but dropped out after he failed to win any contests and endorsed Mr. Biden. On "Face the Nation" on July 21, Phillips said "it is time to step aside and turn this over to a new generation," although Phillips said his endorsement "stays until he makes that decision." 

Senators calling on Biden to exit presidential race

  1. Peter Welch of Vermont: In an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post on July 10, Welch became the first senator to publicly call on Mr. Biden to drop out. "For the good of the country, I'm calling on President Biden to withdraw from the race," he wrote. Welch argued that "the national conversation is focused on President Biden's age and capacity. Only he can change it."
  2. Jon Tester of Montana: One of the most vulnerable Democrats running for reelection in 2024, Tester told the Daily Montanan on July 18 that he thought Mr. Biden should step aside for 2024. "Montanans have put their trust in me to do what is right, and it is a responsibility I take seriously. I have worked with President Biden when it has made Montana stronger, and I've never been afraid to stand up to him when he is wrong," Tester said in a statement. "And while I appreciate his commitment to public service and our country, I believe President Biden should not seek re-election to another term." 
  3. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico: In a statement on July 19, Heinrich, who is up for reelection, praised Mr. Biden's leadership, but said "this moment in our nation's history calls for a focus that is bigger than any one person" in calling for him to drop out: "While the decision to withdraw from the campaign is President Biden's alone, I believe it is in the best interests of our country for him to step aside. By passing the torch, he would secure his legacy as one of our nation's greatest leaders and allow us to unite behind a candidate who can best defeat Donald Trump and safeguard the future of our democracy."
  4. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio: In a statement July 19, Brown — who is expected to face a tough reelection fight in November — said that "I think the President should end his campaign."
  5. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia: On "This Week" on July 21, Manchin said it was time for Mr. Biden to "pass the torch to a new generation." Shortly afterward, Manchin told "Face the Nation" that if Mr. Biden spent the next five months focusing on being president rather than campaigning, he would "leave with a legacy unmatched." 

Other lawmakers weigh in

Additionally, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland privately sent a letter to President Biden dated July 6 that was obtained by CBS News on July 18 that said "democracy is the system where we take turns" and asked him to consider how baseball players have to know when to retire. 

"There is no shame in taking a well-deserved bow to the overflowing appreciation of the crowd when your arm is tired out, and there is real danger for the team in ignoring the statistics," Raskin wrote.

Still, many congressional Democrats have publicly expressed support for Mr. Biden since the debate. Some lawmakers have called for the party to unequivocally back the president, including prominent members of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus. 

On July 7, as lawmakers prepared to return to Washington after the July Fourth recess, a group of senior House Democrats met with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries over Zoom, where a person on the call and three people familiar with the meeting told CBS News that three more lawmakers said Mr. Biden should leave the race: 

  • Jerry Nadler of New York
  • Mark Takano of California 
  • Joe Morelle of New York

But a few days later, Nadler said that he's "fully supportive" of Mr. Biden, and added that he was not going to "comment on what I said in a private meeting."  

"All I'll say is the president made very clear yesterday that he's running," Nadler said July 9. "And to me that's dispositive, we have to support him."

An aide to Jeffries confirmed to CBS News on July 10 that Jeffries planned to convey the growing concerns of the caucus directly to Mr. Biden by the end of that week. 

Mr. Biden has been working to address concerns about his ability to serve another term with a number of appearances in recent days, making clear his intention to stay in the race at every turn — from a highly anticipated interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos to rallies in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania over the holiday weekend. 

The president sent a letter to Democrats in Congress saying he is "firmly committed" to staying in the race and making clear that "I wouldn't be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024."

The president aimed to shut down discussions about replacing him, arguing that "the voters of the Democratic Party have voted," and had selected him as their presumptive nominee. In March, he surpassed the number of delegates needed to clinch the Democratic Party's nomination, and now has secured 3,896 delegates. There are 1,976 delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination at the convention in August. Mr. Biden warned that forcing him off the ticket would subvert the will of the voters: "How can we stand for democracy in our nation if we ignore it in our own party?"

Mr. Biden also called into MSNBC's "Morning Joe," saying "I'm more than presumptive, I'm gonna be the Democratic nominee." He expressed frustration with "the elites" doubting his fitness for another term, saying "any of these guys that don't think I should run — run against me. Go ahead, announce for President. Challenge me at the convention."

The president has also made outreach efforts in recent days, with a campaign official saying he personally made 20 calls to congressional members in the days following the debate. 

Ed O'Keefe, Nikole Killion, Scott MacFarlane, Fin Gómez and Ellis Kim contributed reporting.

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