Sherrod Brown remains silent on Biden as Democrats debate presidential race
3 mins read

Sherrod Brown remains silent on Biden as Democrats debate presidential race


“I’ve talked to people all over Ohio. They have legitimate questions about whether the president should continue his campaign, and I will continue to listen to people,” Brown said.

Sherrod Brown remains silent on Biden as Democrats debate presidential race

play

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown sidestepped questions Monday about President Joe Biden’s fitness for office as Democrats debate whether Biden should drop out of the presidential race.

“I’m not going to judge people in my party, what they say, or what Republicans say,” Brown told reporters in Youngstown, according to his campaign. “I’m not an expert. I’ve talked to people all over Ohio. They have legitimate questions about whether the president should continue his campaign, and I’m going to listen to people.”

Brown’s comments come nearly two weeks after the first debate between Biden and former President Donald Trump, in which the president fumbled words and lost the thread. The incident sparked debate among Democrats about whether Biden, 81, can continue his reelection bid, defeat Trump in November and serve another four-year term.

Biden has said he intends to stay in the race.

The issue underscores Brown’s reluctance to enter presidential politics as he runs his own campaign against Republican businessman Bernie Moreno. Brown is one of two Democratic senators seeking reelection in a state Trump won in 2020, making him one of the most vulnerable sitting presidents in the country.

“Sherrod Brown votes for Joe Biden almost 100% of the time, so it’s no surprise that he supports Biden as his obvious cognitive decline and inability to lead our nation are on full display to the American people,” Moreno said in a statement.

What are Ohio Democrats saying about Joe Biden?

Reaction from Ohio Democrats to Biden’s debate performance was mixed.

Rep. Greg Landsman, D-Cincinnati, said Monday that “time is running out for Biden” to make his case to voters, though he stopped short of directly calling on the president to step aside. Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, defended Biden after speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday.

“We saw the old Joe Biden,” Beatty told MSNBC. “He addressed the issue and said, as he openly said, that the 90-minute debate was a mistake. He didn’t do a good job. He was sick. He was tired. He didn’t get enough rest. We’ve seen him come back since then.”

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, declined to comment through a spokesperson. A spokesperson for Rep. Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Like Brown, Kaptur and Sykes face tough re-elections this year in two of the nation’s most competitive House districts.

Former congressman Tim Ryan, who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, called on Biden to withdraw and clear the way for Vice President Kamala Harris.

House and Senate Democrats are expected to meet behind closed doors Tuesday to discuss the presidential campaign.

Haley BeMiller is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which covers the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.