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 (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 (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 (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.”

Rep. Brad Schneider (Ill.) 

Schneider called on Biden to withdraw, saying in a statement that it is “time to the pass the torch” to “a new generation of leadership.”

“In passing the torch now, President Biden has a chance to live up to this standard and seal his place in history as one of the greatest leaders our nation, and history, has ever known. He can lead the transition of power to a new generation that can build a stronger party and a stronger nation. I fear if he fails to make the right choice, our democracy will hang in the balance,” he said.

Rep. Ed Case (Hawaii)

Case, in a statement urging Biden to step down, said that his “guidepost is what is the best way forward for our country” before calling on the president to step aside.

“I do not believe President Biden should continue his candidacy for re-election as President,” he wrote, noting that his statement does not have anything to do with the administration’s record.

Rep. Greg Stanton (Ariz.) 

In calling for Biden to step down, Stanton noted the Democratic Party must have a nominee “who can effectively make the case” against former President Trump, whom he argued poses a threat to the rule of law in the U.S.

“For the sake of American democracy and to continue to make progress on our priorities, I believe it is time for the President to step aside as our nominee,” Stanton wrote in a statement on X.

“This is solely about the future, about the President’s ability to continue in the most difficult job in the world for another four-year term,” he added.

Rep. Jim Himes (Conn.) 

Himes, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, called on Biden to withdraw from the race within moments after he finished a highly anticipated news conference following the NATO Summit in Washington.

Himes called Biden “a remarkable leader of unparalleled public service, undeniable achievement, and unconditional patriotism” and lauded his accomplishments from this term, before encouraging him to leave the race to protect his legacy.

Rep. Scott Peters (Calif.) 

Like Himes, Peters issued his call for Biden to drop out of the race shortly after his NATO Summit press conference.

Peters in a statement said, “The President’s record of accomplishments will not translate into similar success in his reelection campaign,” adding that his disastrous debate performance last month “was not a blip.”

“The stakes are high, and we are on a losing course. My conscience requires me to speak up and put loyalty to the country and to democracy ahead of my great affection for, and loyalty to, the President and those around him,” he added.

Rep. Eric Sorensen (Ill.) 

Sorensen asked Biden to put the “country over party” and drop out of the 2024 race.

“It is more important than ever that our neighbors have a candidate for President who will communicate a positive vision for every person in this country. Someone who can demonstrate the strength and wisdom needed to lead us through the worst storms. A leader who will stand up to the present threats against democracy,” he said in a post on X, adding, “Today, I am hopeful President Biden will step aside in his campaign for President.”

Rep. Brittany Pettersen (Colo.)  

Pettersen, a first-term lawmaker, called on Biden to “pass the torch” and withdraw from the presidential race.

“Joe Biden 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,” Pettersen said in a statement posted on X. “Please pass the torch to one of our many capable Democratic leaders so we have the best chance to defeat Donald Trump, who is the greatest threat to the foundation of this country that we have ever faced.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.)  

Schiff is one of the most prominent and high-ranking Democrats to call from Biden to withdraw from the race.

Schiff, who is running for California Senate, said in a statement first reported by the Los Angeles Times that while Biden “has been one of the most consequential presidents in our nation’s history,” he noted that “our nation is at a crossroads.”

“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 explained.

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

Tester is the second Democratic senator to call on Biden to withdraw from the race.

“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, according to the Daily Montanan.

“And while I appreciate his commitment to public service and our country, I believe President Biden should not seek re-election to another term.”

Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.)

Costa highlighted Biden’s work to strengthen the country after the COVID-19 pandemic and his record in office, calling him an “incredible President.”

“But for the good of the country, I think it is time for the President to pass the torch to the next generation to carry on the legacy he started,” Costa said in a statement.

Costa said he thinks Democrats need to “unite and deliver their strongest team to the American people in this election.”

Rep. Jared Huffman (Calif.)

Huffman joined three other House Democrats in a joint statement noting that he has “great admiration for Biden,” but the public’s concern threatens his chances of winning the election.

“At this point, however, we must face the reality that widespread public concerns about your age and fitness are jeopardizing what should be a winning campaign,” Huffman and the other Democrats wrote.

They argue that the most “responsible and patriotic” thing Biden can do is allow someone else to have the opportunity to run.

Rep. Marc Veasey (Texas)

Veasey joined Huffman and two others in the joint statement.

They noted that they have “sincere respect” for Biden’s decades of public service and leadership as president but believe it is “now time for you to pass the torch to a new generation of Democratic leaders.”

Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (Ill.)

Garcia was the third House Democrat on the joint statement with Huffman and Veasey.

In the statement, they note that the public concern about Biden’s mental fitness may not be fair, but over the last several weeks, “they have been hardened in the aftermath of last month’s debate and are now unlikely to change.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis.)

Pocan joined Huffman, Veasey and Garcia in the public call for a new candidate.

They argue that Biden should continue leading the Democratic Party from the White House but it is time for him to step aside “as our nominee.”

Rep. Greg Landsman (Ohio)

Landsman joined the list of Democrats calling on Biden to step aside and “nominate a new leader.”

He argued that a new nominee is necessary because Biden can’t “reliably and consistently make the case against Donald Trump.”

Landsman said he respects Biden and all he has done for the country, but the threat posed by Trump includes “fascism and authoritarianism” and is too great of a risk.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (Calif.)

Lofgren, a close ally of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), wrote a letter to Biden urging him to step aside. She pointed to her time on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and said she knows “perhaps as well as anyone” how unfit Trump is to be president.

“As I am aware that you have been provided data indicating that you in all likelihood will lose the race for President, I will not go through it again,” she wrote. “Simply put, your candidacy is on a trajectory to lose the White House and potentially impact crucial House and Senate races down ballot.”

Rep. Sean Casten (Ill.)

Casten became the 21st House Democrat to call on Biden to step aside. In an op-ed published in the Chicago Tribune, Casten said it’s time for Biden to “pass the torch.”

He said politics, like life, isn’t fair “and as long as this election is instead litigated over which candidate is more likely to be held accountable for public gaffes and ‘senior moments,’ I believe that Biden is not only going to lose but is also uniquely incapable of shifting that conversation.”

Rep. Betty McCollum (Minn.)

McCollum called on Biden to release his delegates and “empower Vice President Haris to step forward to become the Democratic nominee for president.”

She said defeating Trump should be the Democratic Party’s “sole focus.” With Harris leading the ticket, McCollum offered Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to be her running mate.

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Heinrich became the third Senate Democrat to call on Biden to exit the race. He called Biden one of the most accomplished presidents in modern history but thinks the current moment “calls for a focus that is bigger than any one person.”

“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,” Heinrich said.

Rep. Morgan McGarvey (Ky.)

McGarvey released a statement on social media that highlighted Biden’s leadership and accomplishments in office. He said there is no doubt that Biden “genuinely cares about our country,” and there is “no joy in the recognition that he should not be our nominee in November.”

McGarvey said the stakes of the election and Trump are too high, noting House and Senate races and the future of the Supreme Court.

“President Biden is a good man who cares deeply about the American people. I trust that he will do what’s best for the nation, and we will come together as Democrats to move the country forward,” he said.

Rep. Gabe Vasquez (N.M.)

Vasquez also called for Biden to step aside, echoing similar messages of honoring Biden’s legacy.

“However, 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,” he said in a statement.

He added that regardless of who the Democratic Party’s nominee is, his “number one job” is to care for the people in his district.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

Brown became the fourth Senate Democrat to call on Biden to step aside, and the second in one day.

He said he heard from constituents who were worried about important issues, including job creation, giving law enforcement tools for the fentanyl crisis, protecting Social Security and Medicare and preventing efforts to restrict abortion. Brown said he agrees with them.

“At this critical time, our full attention must return to these important issues,” Brown said in a statement. “I think the President should end his campaign.”

Rep. Mark Takano (Calif.)

Takano joined other California Democrats in calling on Biden to step aside, posting a statement to his personal account on X.

“President Biden’s greatest accomplishment remains saving democracy in 2020. He can and must do so again in 2024 — by passing the torch to Vice President Harris as the Democratic Party Presidential nominee,” Takano said in the statement.

He argued that its “become clear” that the “demands of a modern campaign” are best met by Harris.

Judy Kurtz, Caroline Vakil, Mychael Schnell and Lauren Irwin contributed.

First published on July 6. Updated July 20 at 2:54 p.m.

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