First Democratic senator calls on Biden to leave 2024 race after debate
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First Democratic senator calls on Biden to leave 2024 race after debate

First Democratic senator calls on Biden to leave 2024 race after debate

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WASHINGTON — Sen. Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat, became the first senator to call on President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race, arguing the move would be “for the good of the country.”

Biden “has been one of the best presidents of our time,” Welch wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday night in The Washington Post.

“But I, like people across the country, am concerned about the November election. The stakes could not be higher. We cannot unsee President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the legitimate questions that have been raised since that night.”

He outlined the dangers he believes a second Trump presidency poses, writing that polling data clearly shows that the “political threat” to Democrats has increased since the debate in key swing states such as Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

“We have asked President Biden to do so much for so many for so long. It has taken unparalleled selflessness and courage,” he said. “We need him to put us first, as he has done before. I urge him to do that now.”

It marks a significant shift in the conversation on Capitol Hill about Biden’s debate performance and his ability to represent Democrats in the presidential election. During Biden’s debate with former President Donald Trump last month, the president struggled to make his case to voters, failing to finish his sentences or arguments.

So far, only nine House Democrats have publicly called on him to drop out of the race, despite widespread concerns expressed behind closed doors in both chambers.

Senate Democrats are scheduled to meet with Biden’s campaign on Thursday. Biden has said he is committed to staying in the race and has argued he is the best person to take on Trump in the general election.