Fifth House Democrat calls for Biden to ‘step aside’ from 2024 race

Minnesota representative Angie Craig has now become the fifth House Democrat to call for president Joe Biden to remove himself from the 2024 presidential race, warning that there is “simply too much at stake to risk a second Donald Trump presidency”.

On Saturday, Craig joined a growing list of her colleagues in asking Biden to drop out of the race after his dismal debate performance against Trump last week.

“I have great respect for President Biden’s decades of service to our nation and his steadfast commitment to making our country a better place,” Craig wrote in a statement posted on Twitter/X.

“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 the debate, I do not believe the president can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump,” she added.

Craig went on to say that the stakes are too high to risk Biden taking on – and losing to – Trump in November.

“As an elected leader, I feel a responsibility to be honest about what I believe, even when it’s hard to hear. President Biden is a good man & I appreciate his lifetime of service. But I believe he should step aside for the next generation of leadership,” she said.

“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.”

Craig’s statement echoes that of fellow Democratic representatives Mike Quigley, Seth Moulton, Raúl Grijalva and Lloyd Doggett who have also urged the president to withdraw from the race after the first presidential debate.

Biden’s hoarse voice, muddled speech and moments of apparent confusion fuelled concerns about the president’s competence to serve the nation for another four years.

His poor performance has since sent the Democratic Party into panic mode, with some party leaders, like former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and vice-president Kamala Harris publicly maintaining they will support Biden’s re-election campaign, while others have begun to break away from this message.

Meanwhile, Biden has so far refused to step aside.

In a make-or-break interview with ABC News on Friday, the president assured Americans he is capable of successfully running against Trump, claiming the debate was simply “a bad night” for him because he was battling a cold and sleep deprivation. Biden said he has consulted his physicians who told him he was just “exhausted”.

But when asked if he would take a cognitive or neurological test and release the results to the public, Biden stopped short of agreeing to it. Instead, he pointed to his busy schedule and day-to-day activities as president as evidence of his functioning mental state.

It’s unclear if Biden’s words will be enough to convince Americans that he is capable and worth supporting.

Representative Angie Craig called on president Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race, citing his debate performance (Getty)
Representative Angie Craig called on president Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race, citing his debate performance (Getty)

So far, post-debate polling shows a significant decline in support for Biden. Trump is leading in several swing states and more voters have signaled they would rather vote for Trump than Biden.

Given the direction public opinion is headed in, Craig said there is “too much at stake” to risk Trump possibly winning re-election.

“If we truly believe that Donald Trump and Maga Republicans must be stopped, there is only a small window left to make sure we have a candidate best equipped to make the case and win,” Craig wrote.

“The future of our country is bigger than any one of us. It’s up to the president from here.”