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Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett calls on President Biden to withdraw from 2024 election

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On Tuesday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, became the first sitting Democrat in Congress to call for President Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race, citing his poor debate performance and the fallout since. Numerous Democrats have expressed concerns or suggested that Biden leave the race; however Doggett, who has served in Congress since 1995, is the first lawmaker to say it openly: “I am hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw. I respectfully call on him to do so.” (per CBS News.)

Doggett said in a statement Tuesday: “Our overriding consideration must be who has the best hope of saving our democracy from an authoritarian takeover by a criminal and his gang. Too much is at stake to risk a Trump victory—too great a risk to assume that what could not be turned around in a year, what was not turned around in the debate, can be turned around now. President Biden saved our democracy by delivering us from Trump in 2020. He must not deliver us to Trump in 2024.”  

Doggett, 77, added that represents the same congressional district as former President Lyndon Johnson during his time as a U.S. representative, and wants Biden to follow Johnson’s example when he declined to seek a second term in the White House (due to his low popularity amid the Vietnam War and cultural upheaval in America).  Doggett said of Johnson: “Under very different circumstances, he made the painful decision to withdraw. President Biden should do the same.”

The Texas Democrat said he believes Biden has “achieved much for our country at home and abroad” as president, but added: “While much of his work has been transformational, he pledged to be transitional. He has the opportunity to encourage a new generation of leaders from whom a nominee can be chosen to unite our country through an open, democratic process .. President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump. I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It did not. Instead of reassuring voters, the President failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies.”

Biden insiders said the president is “staying in” and noted that other Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., have provided supportive statements standing behind Biden. A Biden campaign spokesperson said Biden “absolutely will not” withdraw his candidacy.

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