Biden senior Democrats call for resignation

Several House Democrats have joined calls for President Joe Biden to step aside and allow another candidate to run for the presidency in the upcoming U.S. election, according to reports from U.S. media. This discussion took place during a private meeting on Sunday with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

During the Zoom call, which Jeffries described as a “listening session,” senior Democrats explored ways to persuade Biden to withdraw from the race. Their concerns stem from the recent debate performance, which was widely criticized and acknowledged as a “bad night” by Biden himself.

According to reports from and the , the House Democrats who advocated for Biden’s departure included Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York (ranking member of the Judiciary Committee), Rep. Mark Takano of California (ranking member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee), Rep. Adam Smith of Washington (co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance), and Rep. Joe Morelle of New York (ranking member of the Committee on House Administration). Both outlets report that other representatives on the call also expressed doubts about the President’s ability to win a second term against former President Donald Trump.

The Associated Press that Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut (ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) also supported Biden stepping aside. However, The New York Times and CBS reported that while Himes expressed concern about Biden’s electoral prospects, he did not explicitly call for the President to withdraw. (TIME has reached out to Himes for comment.)

These developments come amidst growing concerns about Biden’s mental fitness following his June 27 debate performance. have publicly declared that the 81-year-old Biden should not pursue a second term as President.

The Biden campaign has rejected these calls to step down. “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work,” the President last week. “I’m staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump.”

A poll conducted in August 2023 by The Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Research found that to serve effectively for another four years.