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US Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey calls for Biden to step down

Aliya Schneider, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, who represents a North Jersey district, on Tuesday became the first congressional Democrat in the state to publicly call for President Joe Biden to give up the presidential nomination.

Biden, 81, has insisted that he won’t step down after his June debate performance heightened concerns about his ability to serve, and he’s been rallying fervent support from allies. But worries within the party haven’t gone away, and some Democrats have taken the leap to speak out against the president publicly.

Sherrill became the seventh House Democrat to do so. She joined representatives from Texas, Arizona, Massachusetts, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington.

While Sherrill’s district, which includes parts of Essex, Morris, and Passaic counties, hasn’t been targeted as a 2024 battleground, it’s not quite a sea of blue. Sherrill flipped the district in 2018, but her Republican opponents captured more than 40% of the vote in both of her re-election races.

In a four-paragraph statement, Sherrill praised Biden’s record but said he should step aside to prevent former President Donald Trump from winning the election.

“I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country,” she wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “That’s why I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection.”

She said she’s heard from constituents who are “united in their concern for our country and our future” and that they want a candidate who can build on the country’s successes while alerting voters to the threats Trump poses.

“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 said.

At least 20 Democratic lawmakers spoke up in a nearly two-hour private House meeting Tuesday to discuss the election, and most of them wanted Biden to end his candidacy, with concerns that the race would center too much on his age, a source told the Associated Press.

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, whose South Jersey district includes almost all of Burlington County and parts of Mercer and Monmouth counties, has not taken a clear public stance on the matter.

 

The New Jersey Globe reported that Kim said that he, like others, has “concerns,” and Biden’s team should address them.

“People have concerns — I mean, this is the presidency of the United States,” said Kim, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. “So I think it’s very important to be upfront and honest about where things are.”

In a video posted to X by CBS News reporter Aaron Navarro, Kim told reporters there’s confusion about what steps can be taken next.

“The main thing that I’m hearing is like, uncertainty about like what options there are, and I think that’s still something that we’re kinda thinking through,” he said.

Senators have more circumspect than members of the House about sharing their thoughts on Biden’s candidacy in public.

On Tuesday, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado became the first Senate Democrat to publicly say he doesn’t think Biden can beat Trump, but didn’t directly call for him to give up his place on the ticket.

“Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election,” he told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. “ ... So for me, this isn’t a question about polling. It’s not a question about politics. It’s a moral question about the future of our country.”

The Democratic delegation in Pennsylvania appears split on the issue. Several members have voiced full support for the president or appeared with him recently, while a handful either declined to comment on whether Biden should be the nominee, or are still grappling with the question.


©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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