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Democrats in Congress discuss future of Biden's nomination

House Democrats gathered for what some members called a "family conversation" and "listening session" about whether President Biden should step aside.
Joe Biden
Posted at 10:09 AM, Jul 10, 2024

After last month's rocky debate performance, more and more Democrats are raising concerns about President Joe Biden's age and mental fitness, so he's been hard at work trying to reassure members of his own party that he's the best candidate to beat former President Donald Trump in November.

House Democrats gathered Tuesday morning for what some members called a "family conversation" and "listening session" about whether President Biden should step aside. With the party's convention more than a month away, some lawmakers say there's still time to choose a different candidate.

"I'm going to support the nominee of my party. I certainly support President Biden, but I think we would be less endangered of a Trump presidency if we had a different candidate," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the first member of Congress to publicly say the president should step down as the party's nominee.

But a majority of congressional Democrats and key party leaders are standing behind President Biden.

"The president knows that he did not have a good debate performance. He knows that he has to be out there in people's districts, out in the community, out in these tough states. He knows that, and that's what we'll see in the days and weeks ahead," said Rep. Pete Aguilar, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Multiple polls show voters are concerned about President Biden's age, but many Democrats in Congress say they're more concerned about what could happen during a second Trump administration.

"I was actually just this weekend out with a lot of young voters, and the thing people brought up wasn't Biden's age, but the fact that they're scared to death of Project 2025 and the far right wing," said Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida.

Massachusetts congresswoman Rep. Ayanna Pressley echoed a similar sentiment, saying, "I am not distracted by a 90-minute debate. I am focused on guarding against 90 years of harm if Project 2025 becomes a reality."

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The president has been doing a lot of outreach, meeting with Democratic governors and mayors, congressional caucuses, and donors, all in an apparent effort to rebuild confidence in his candidacy. Some of the president's supporters in Congress have said they want him to prove to voters he's capable of serving another four years.

Polls since the debate show President Biden is still locked in a tight race with Trump. This week, the president's focus is on the NATO summit happening in D.C., with a highly anticipated press conference on Thursday.