Lloyd Doggett becomes first sitting Democrat in Congress to call on Biden to resign


Washington
CNN

Democratic Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas on Tuesday became the first Democrat to call on President Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race. He was speculating privately.

“I represent the heart of the congressional district that Lyndon Johnson once represented. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw,” Doggett said in his statement. “President Biden should do the same.”

Doggett’s report exaggerates Pressure around the president And his team is trying to assuage party concerns in the wake of Biden’s disappointing debate performance against former President Donald Trump last week, and Doggett’s comments could prompt others to follow suit.

In calling for Biden to step aside, Doggett said the president could help build a new generation of leadership that would help the party achieve its ultimate goal: defeating Trump.

“Unlike Trump, I believe President Biden’s first commitment has always been to our country, not him, and he will reverse the painful and difficult decision,” Doggett said. “I respectfully invite him to do so.”

Asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper late Tuesday if it was difficult to be the first congressman to call on the president to drop out of the race, Doggett said, “In retrospect, I wish I had said that earlier because we needed to — I think it needed to be a decision made much earlier in the process.”

The 77-year-old told “AC360” that “being an older member of Congress” and not “a particularly vulnerable member of Congress” probably gave him the ability to say what some members who share his opinion couldn’t say.

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He said he hopes some of those members “will call the White House and express their personal concerns if they can’t join me publicly, and that people across the country will tell their members of Congress and the Senate the same way my constituents do.” , how they feel about it.

Earlier on Tuesday, Democratic Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois signaled the openness to make Biden the party’s presidential nominee.

“I think his four years have been one of the best presidencies of our lifetime, but I think he has to be honest with himself,” Quigley told Cassie Hunt on “CNN This Morning.” “It’s a decision he has to make.”

“We have to be honest with ourselves that this was not a terrible night, but I will not go beyond that out of respect and understanding for President Joe Biden, a very proud man who has served us extraordinarily well for 50 years,” he added.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a strong Biden ally, said on MSNBC that the president should take part in more interviews as people evaluate him.

“I think it’s imperative that they do that,” Pelosi told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.

The former speaker, who insisted it was Biden’s decision to step aside, said he had heard “mixed” responses to the debate from donors and others in his Democratic network.

“I think it’s a fair question to say whether it’s an episode or whether it’s a condition,” Pelosi said, though she said Trump would have to ask that. Repeated lies During the discussion.

Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, a key Biden ally, said on MSNBC that he still supports Biden on the ticket, but would support Vice President Kamala Harris if Biden drops out as the Democratic presidential nominee. .

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“I will support her if she steps down,” Clyburn said of what Biden would do if he backed down, then added, “This party must not do anything in any way to work around Ms. Harris.”

However, Clyburn reaffirmed his support for Biden. “I want this ticket to continue as Biden-Harris, and we’ll see what happens after the next election,” he said.

Even more Democrats are voicing their concerns behind the scenes.

Even as the Biden campaign and the White House say they are hanging on to the presidential race and chalk up Biden’s debate performance to a bad night that didn’t overshadow his accomplishments, lawmakers from across the party share their concerns. Biden remains at the top of the ticket.

A House Democratic lawmaker told CNN, “There is a large and growing group of House Democrats who are concerned about the president’s nomination, representing a broad swath of the caucus. We are deeply concerned about his trajectory and ability to succeed. We want to give him space to decide [to step aside] But if he doesn’t we will be more vocal about our concerns.

This story has been updated with additional updates.

CNN’s Jack Forrest contributed to this report.

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