First House Democrat calls on Biden to step aside, citing risk of Trump victory

Rep. Lloyd Doggett urges President Biden to withdraw from 2024 race to prevent an authoritarian Trump presidency.

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Image Credit: Bonnie Cash/Pool/CNP/ZUMA; Drew Angerer/Getty

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) has become the first Democratic member of Congress to publicly call for President Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race. Doggett, crediting Biden with significant achievements during his tenure, warned that a potential victory by former President Donald Trump would “usher America into a long, dark, authoritarian era.”

Doggett’s statement comes just four months before Election Day, following a performance by Biden in the first presidential debate that alarmed many viewers and Democratic strategists. During the debate, Biden struggled to articulate his achievements and appeared to lose his train of thought several times, causing panic within the Democratic Caucus.

“The overriding consideration must be who has the best hope of saving our democracy from an authoritarian takeover by a criminal and his gang,” Doggett stated. He emphasized that the risk of a Trump victory is too great to ignore and called for Biden to step aside for the greater good of the country.

Recent polling data has shown Trump leading Biden by 49% to 43%, with Biden trailing Trump by a significant margin among independent voters. A separate poll by the progressive grassroots group Our Revolution indicated that 67% of respondents supported Biden suspending his reelection campaign.

Doggett’s call for Biden to withdraw is also influenced by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that granted Trump “absolute immunity” for official acts committed while in office. This ruling has raised concerns about Trump’s accountability and the potential for unchecked executive power if he were to win the presidency again.

“Newly empowered with immunity,” said Doggett, Trump would be “unchecked by either the courts or a submissive Republican Congress.” Doggett stressed the importance of selecting a Democratic nominee who can unite the country and effectively counter the threat posed by Trump.

In light of the debate performance and polling data, names of potential replacements for Biden have been floated within the Democratic Party. Alternative candidates include Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Recent polls show these candidates performing better against Trump than Biden.

Former Rhode Island lawmaker Aaron Regunberg praised Doggett’s statement as “courageous” and emphasized the need for new leadership to defeat Trump. “Biden cannot beat Trump,” Regunberg said. “But another Democrat absolutely can! Whether it’s a handoff to VP Harris or an open convention, we don’t have to resign ourselves to fascism.”

Longtime Democratic National Committee member James Zogby has also proposed a process for selecting the party’s presidential nominee. Zogby suggests that potential candidates secure endorsements from at least 40 current DNC members and participate in televised events before the formal nomination process at the Democratic National Convention.

“The excitement generated by this process and the attention it will be given will be a plus for our eventual nominee,” said Zogby. In an interview with The Nation, Zogby emphasized that the focus of the election should be on the danger Trump presents, rather than Biden’s capabilities.

“We have to face reality here,” Zogby said. “Do I think that Joe Biden is capable of governing? I would say ‘yes.’ But can he win an election under these circumstances? This is not what the election should focus on. And, yet, that’s where it’s headed.”

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