Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) became the first sitting congressional Democrat to publicly call for Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential election since his disastrous debate performance.

“I represent the heart of a congressional district once represented by Lyndon Johnson. Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same,” Doggett said, according to the New York Post.

Read Doggett’s full statement:


From the New York Post:

An growing number of Democrats have gone public with their concerns after Biden’s debate performance last week, in which he repeatedly froze up on stage and lost his train of thought.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), a close Biden confidante, added to the growing chorus on Tuesday afternoon by declaring his “support” for Vice President Kamala Harris if Biden did drop out of the race but adding he preferred a “Biden-Harris” 2024 ticket.

“I will support her if he were to step aside,” said Clyburn, whose endorsement of Biden in 2020 helped him win the crucial South Carolina Democratic primary and propelled him to the nomination.

“This party should not, in any way, do anything to work around Ms. Harris,” he added. “We should do everything we can to bolster her whether she’s in second place or at the top of the ticket.”

Consternation over Biden’s age had long haunted the president, but after the debate, Democrats’ unease over his fitness for office reached a fever pitch.


The Texas Tribune reports:

Doggett, 77, is the first Democratic member of Congress to call for Biden to withdraw from the ticket since his debate. U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minnesota, ran a challenge against Biden in the Democratic primaries but has stayed muted since the debate.

Shortly after his statement, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro joined Doggett in calling for Biden to withdraw. Castro ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic primaries and was quick to criticize his debate performance last week.

“I believe that there are stronger options out there for Democrats. We have a stable of folks who could do a better job, including Vice President [Kamala] Harris,” Castro said Tuesday on MSNBC, after Doggett issued his call. “It’s too risky to let Donald Trump walk into this in November.”

Doggett said in a phone interview that he’d warned the White House on Friday of his decision and had expressed his dismay to House Democratic leadership Friday as well. He confirmed to House leadership Tuesday that he was issuing his statement beforehand but did not seek advice, approval or edits.

“There are many people who would like to make a statement like this but are concerned about, among other things, doing anything that might make it even more difficult for President Biden,” Doggett said in the interview.

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