Four top House Democrats say Biden should drop out of presidential race, sources say

Washington — Several leading Democrats in the House of Representatives said Sunday that President Biden should put an end his re-election campaign in the wake of his recent debate presentationseveral people told CBS News.

Reps. Jerry Nadler of New York, Mark Takano of California, Adam Smith of Washington and Joe Morelle of New York said Sunday during a Zoom meeting with the House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries that Mr. Biden should withdraw from the race, according to a person present at the call and three other people familiar with the meeting.

Reps. Jim Himes of Connecticut, Don Beyer of Virginia and Jamie Raskin of Maryland also expressed skepticism about the president’s chances of election, according to the member who participated in the call and a person familiar with the meeting.

Mr. Beyer’s office reaffirmed his support for Mr. Biden on Sunday, despite initial reports suggesting he was part of the group calling on the president to step aside. After news of the call broke, Mr. Beyer also issued a statement saying he was backing Mr. Biden.

“I support the Biden-Harris ticket and look forward to helping defeat Donald Trump in November,” Beyer said. “I was proud to host an event in Northern Virginia with the President this week and will continue to do everything I can to support the Biden-Harris campaign in Virginia and across the country.”

CBS News has reached out to all members who, according to sources, had reservations about the president’s chances or had indicated that he should withdraw from the race.

A spokesman for Jeffries declined to comment on the phone call.

U.S. President Joe Biden prepares to step off Air Force One upon arrival at Harrisburg International Airport on July 7, 2024 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Michael M Santiago/Getty Images

The meeting came after Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives called for him to step aside last week, amid a slow leak of calls from a number of Democratic lawmakers calling on him to step aside. On Saturday, Representative Angie Craigwho represents a frontline Minnesota district, became the latest House Democrat to call on the president to withdraw from the race. And attention is expected to turn to the president’s support in Congress as lawmakers return from recess this week.

Meanwhile, Mr. Biden has come across as defiant in recent days, making clear that he intends to stay in the race despite concerns from some in his party. When he was asked during a interview When ABC News host George Stephanopoulos asked Friday whether he would resign if the party’s leaders in Congress asked for a call, Biden brushed off the question, saying, “They’re not going to do that.”

The president said he spoke with Jeffries for an hour and spent “many hours” with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The president also convened a meeting at the White House last week with Democratic governors.

“If the Lord Almighty would come down and say, ‘Joe, get out of the race,’ I would get out of the race,” the president said. “The Lord Almighty is not coming down.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia has been talking to Democratic colleagues about finding ways to convince the president to step aside and let others pursue the nomination, a senator contacted by Warner told CBS News on Thursday. The senator noted at the time that no formal plans had been made.

Fin Gómez contributed to the reporting.

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