Several top House Democrats are calling on Biden to step aside during the leadership call

Nathan Howard/Reuters

President Joe Biden attends a campaign event at Sherman Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin on July 5, 2024.



CNN

A number of House Democratic ranking members called House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday to call on President Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 campaign, sources familiar with the matter said.

Jeffries called to take the temperatures of ranking members and leaders before members return to Washington this week. The call was filled with deep concern about the potential damage to the Democratic ticket and how they affect the party’s chances of winning back the majority.

Jeffries did not share with his colleagues where he stood on the question of whether Biden should run for re-election, a source on the call told CNN.

The number of lawmakers who openly said Biden should not be the Democratic nominee outnumbered those who said he should stay, the source said. Reps. Mark Dagano, Adam Smith, Jim Himes, Joe Morrell and Susan Wilde were among those opposing Biden as the nominee, two sources said. Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott spoke in support of Biden, according to one of the sources.

One of the concerns expressed during the nearly two-hour call was that if Biden were the nominee, Democrats would lose their chance at a House majority, a source said, adding that it was generally agreed that Vice President Kamala Harris should be the nominee.

“It’s pretty brutal,” a senior Democratic aide told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation between House leaders.

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Any decisions about requests for a White House meeting or a letter to Biden are expected to be made before the full Democratic Caucus meets on Tuesday, aides said, but Jeffries made it clear he would let members speak their minds and make their own judgments. .

Many Democrats, concerned about Biden’s credibility as a candidate following his disastrous debate performance, are waiting for Jeffries to take a public stand.

So far, the chairman has been in deliberate listening mode — as one person told CNN last week, Jeffries has “resolutely” avoided sharing his own judgment on the matter as he continues to scrutinize his own caucus.

Biden, who will visit battleground Pennsylvania on Sunday, answered “yes” when asked by the press if the Democratic Party was still behind him.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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