Rep. Mikie Sherrill calls for Biden to withdraw

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) on Tuesday called on President Biden to step aside in the 2024 presidential race, becoming the seventh House Democrat to publicly urge the incumbent to withdraw following his debate performance against former President Trump last month.

Sherrill, in a statement Tuesday, 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.”

“When I think of my four children and all of the rights that another Trump presidency endangers, and in light of the recent Supreme Court decision that gave inordinate power to the President of the United States, the stakes are too high — and the threat is too real — to stay silent,” she added. “I realize this is hard, but we have done hard things in pursuit of democracy since the founding of this nation. It is time to do so again.”

Sherrill is the seventh House Democrat over the past week to publicly urge Biden to step down. Others included Reps. Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Mike Quigley (Ill.), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Seth Moulton (Mass.), Angie Craig (Minn.) and Adam Smith (Wash.).

At least four senior House Democrats also said Biden should step aside in a private call Sunday. One of the four, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday publicly backed Biden, however.

Like the other detractors, Sherrill was quick to tout Biden’s first-term legislative record, pointing to his infrastructure investments, support of Ukraine and the nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery, among other things.

She added one of Biden’s “most significant accomplishments” was defeating Trump in 2020 and argued the former president must continue to be kept out of the White House this year.

Sherrill’s decision comes hours after Democrats held a closed-door meeting to discuss Biden’s political future, where many party members maintained they are sticking with Biden.

Emerging from the meeting – which lasted roughly two hours – Democrats indicated the debate was lopsided in favor of keeping Biden on the ticket. The support suggested Biden may have prevented individual detractors from setting the narrative, at least for now.

While the tide may be beginning to shift for Biden, some Democratic voices still expressed concerns over his ability to defeat Trump at the ballot box.

Biden has maintained he intends to stay in the race. He again rejected calls to drop out of the race in a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, urging them to unite behind his candidacy.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now.  And it’s time for it to end,” Biden wrote. “Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together.”

Biden campaigned in 2018 for Sherrill, who went on to flip New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, a seat that was previously held by Republicans since 1985.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

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