Dam breaks as first senator urges Biden to step aside

As a growing chorus of House Democrats call for Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race, the first Democratic senator has thrown his name into the mix with another call for the president to step down.

Vermont Senator Peter Welch made his case in an op-ed for Washington Postwriting that while he has “great respect” for Biden, “we cannot see past President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the valid questions that have been raised since that night.”

He added: “For the good of the country, I urge President Biden to withdraw from the race.”

Welch claimed that he delivered the news “with sadness” but that “the national conversation is focused on President Biden’s age and capabilities. Only he can change that.”

The news came just as a ninth Democrat in the House joined calls for Biden to resign from the ticket, amid growing uncertainty about his cognitive ability and chances to beat Donald Trump in November.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in a statement posted on Facebook Wednesday: “While this is a decision for the president and first lady, I hope they come to the conclusion that I and others have: President Biden should not be the Democratic presidential candidate,” he said.

“It is a painful and difficult conclusion, but there is no doubt that we will all be better served if the president steps aside as the Democratic nominee and manages a transition on his terms.”

Blumenauer, 75, who has represented the Portland district for nearly 30 years, will retire from Congress at the end of the year. He is a member of the Budget Committee and the influential Ways and Means Committee.

Although he added that Biden “will go down in history as the most successful president of the last 50 years,” Blumenauer echoed the sentiments of the previous eight House Democrats calling for Biden to withdraw. They include Reps. Lloyd Doggett (TX), Mike Quigley (IL), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Seth Moulton (MA), Angie Craig (MN), and Adam Smith (WA).

Pat Ryan of New York became the eighth House Democrat to call on Biden to step aside earlier Wednesday, posted on X that “Joe Biden is a patriot but is no longer the best candidate to defeat Trump.” He added that he “asked Joe Biden to step aside.”

Late. Michael Bennet (D-CO) also told CNN on Tuesday that he believes Biden “can’t win” in November.

Biden has insisted he will remain in the race, but on Wednesday he faced fresh calls to quit from celebrity donors.

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