Massachusetts Gov. Healey urges Biden to ‘carefully evaluate’ whether he remains Democrats’ best hope to defeat Trump

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey issued a statement Friday urging President Joe Biden to “carefully evaluate” whether he remains the Democratic Party’s best hope to defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

“President Biden saved our democracy in 2020 and has done an outstanding job over the last four years. I am deeply grateful for his leadership,” Healy said in a statement to CNN.

“And I know he agrees this is the most important election of our lifetimes. The best way forward right now is a decision for the president to make. Over the coming days, I urge him to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump. Whatever President Biden decides, I am committed to doing everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump.”

Healey was one of the Democratic governors who met with Biden on Wednesday seeking reassurance over the future of the president’s reelection campaign. With her statement, Healey became the first sitting Democratic governor publicly call on Biden to think about stepping aside – a significant departure from the public statements of support other governors in the meeting issued. It comes as cracks have begun to appear in Biden’s coalition. Four Democrats in Congress – Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas, Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois – have asked Biden to bow out. Those calls were signs of the unsteadiness of Democratic support for their top candidate.

Some of the president’s comments during Wednesday’s meeting left participants frustrated.

Biden told the governors that he needed more sleep and planned to stop scheduling late-night events. He also made a joke that didn’t go over well with some of the them: “I’m fine – I don’t know about my brain, though.”

Biden campaign officials and top surrogates have spent the week since his disastrous debate performance trying to soothe the anxieties of major donors, voters and other down-ballot Democrats.

But Biden himself was slow to call party leaders, including House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. His Wednesday meeting with the governors came after some of them expressed frustration with not having heard from the president.

But while Doggett and Grijalva were the first fractures in Biden’s coalition, the vast majority of party leaders remain behind him. Several of the governors who attended Wednesday’s meeting released statements firmly in support of the president.

“I heard three words from the President – he’s all in. And so am I. Joe Biden’s had our back. Now it’s time to have his,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement after the meeting.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a tweet that Biden “is our nominee. He is in it to win it and I support him.”

CNN reported earlier this week that Biden sees the next few days as key to his political survival. Among the key events are a campaign rally in Wisconsin Friday afternoon and another event in Pennsylvania on Sunday, along with a high-profile interview on Friday with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at