Democratic Sen. Peter Welch Calls On Joe Biden To Withdraw From 2024 Race

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Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Wednesday called on Joe Biden to step aside to make way for a younger Democratic presidential nominee, in yet another blow to the president’s diminishing support on Capitol Hill.

“We cannot unsee President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the valid questions raised since that night,” Welch wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Post.

“I understand why President Biden wants to run. He saved us from Donald Trump once and wants to do it again. But he needs to reassess whether he is the best candidate to do so. In my view, he is not,” he continued.

“For the good of the country, I’m calling on President Biden to withdraw from the race,” he said.

Welch argued that Democrats are risking it all by sticking with Biden, noting recent polling shows presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump leading in states that were once considered favorable ground for Democrats, including Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

The Vermont senator joined retiring Rep. Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and frontline Rep. Pat Ryan (N.Y.) in calling on Biden to step aside on Wednesday, adding to the growing list of lawmakers who are pushing their party to pick a different presidential nominee. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), one of the party’s most important voices, also left the door open to replacing Biden earlier in the day.

Actor and Democratic donor George Clooney also urged the president to withdraw from the race in a Wednesday op-ed in The New York Times. Clooney said the 81-year-old Biden showed his age at a fundraiser even before his poor performance at last month’s debate against Trump, undermining the claim from the Biden campaign that it was just “one bad night.”

Still, even though Democrats’ anxieties about Biden’s political future at a high on Capitol Hill, many lawmakers continue to stand with him.

“The president can win and I think he will win,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told HuffPost on Wednesday, adding that he should focus talking about “very specific ideas that are going to improve the lives of the working class in this country.”

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said he backed Biden “100%.”

“If you really want to turn your back on the president like this, if you’re ever in a foxhole, that’s never made better if you start to panic,” Fetterman said in an interview Wednesday night on CNN.