Vermont Democrat warns Biden could take other Democrats down with him

Vermont Sen. Peter Welch (D) warned Wednesday that President Biden could take other Democrats down with him if he loses badly in November, and said he doesn’t know anymore if Biden would be a stronger candidate than Vice President Harris.

“So if we do really poorly at the presidential level, that creates a fierce undertow,” he said in a CNN interview.

“The most important thing is to have Trump out of the office, a Democrat in office. Doing that I think is the best help that we can give to our Senate candidates who are doing great but having a tough challenge,” he said.

Asked by CNN host Brianna Keilar if Biden should continue his bid for a second term, Welch said that’s up to Biden to decide.

“That’s the question,” he said. “He’s wrestling with that. He’s reading the polls.

“I’m confident that at the end of the day the president will make his decision based on what’s best for the country,” he added.

Welch said if Biden decides to end his campaign, there would need to be an open competition at the Democratic National Convention in August to choose the party’s nominee.

“If it came to an open contest — if the president made that decision — then it would have to be open,” he said. “We have a tremendous bench, starting with the vice president. We also have party unity. Everybody who would be running is running on a continuation of the Biden accomplishments.

“The big question for all of us is who’s the best candidate to win the presidency and defeat Trump? And I don’t know the answer to that, but I know we have a lot of really good candidates, including the vice president,” he said.

Biden this week is trying to reassure top Democrats that he’s up to the task of defeating former President Trump in November. Democratic anxiety has grown steadily since a disastrous debate performance last week and broke into public view on Tuesday.

Welch criticized the Biden campaign earlier in the week for dismissing the concerns of Democrats who worry that Biden can’t beat Trump after his disastrous debate performance as “bedwetting.”

“I really do criticize the campaign for a dismissive attitude towards people who are raising questions for discussion. That’s just facing the reality we’re in,” Welch told Semafor in an interview Monday.

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