Brad Schneider says Biden should step aside

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Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) became the 11th House Democrat to publicly call on President Biden to withdraw from the 2024 race, saying in a statement Thursday that it is “time to pass the torch.”

Schneider said that while he is grateful for Biden’s leadership and service, he believes the stakes of this year’s election are too high and warned of the implications of a second White House term under former President Trump.

“President Biden now has the opportunity to secure his legacy and boldly deliver the nation to a new generation of leadership,” Schneider wrote. “The stakes in this election could not be higher. Donald Trump and the administration he would install are an absolute threat to the very core of our nation. He is publicly committed to undermining our constitution and the democratic republic it established.”

“In passing the torch now, President Biden has a chance to live up to this standard and seal his place in history as one of the greatest leaders our nation, and history, has ever known. He can lead the transition of power to a new generation that can build a stronger party and a stronger nation. I fear if he fails to make the right choice, our democracy will hang in the balance,” he added.

Like the other Democratic detractors, Schneider applauded Biden’s work during his first term. He pointed to Biden’s policies on infrastructure, the job market, climate change and the nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, among other things.

“We are faced with a stark choice: Be resigned to slog through this election praying we can successfully defend our democracy, or enthusiastically embrace a vibrant vision for our future, building on the extraordinary foundation President Biden has created for our nation over the past four years,” Schneider wrote. “I choose the latter.

Schneider joins the other ten House Democrats who have made a public call on Biden to withdraw from the race amid the fallout from his disastrous debate performance against Trump last month. The president’s showing prompted an array of concerns over his mental acuity and ability to defeat Trump in November and carry out a second term.

The Illinois Democrat suggested Biden can “lead” the transition of power and help usher in a new generation of leaders.

“I fear if he fails to make the right choice, our democracy will hang in the balance,” he added.

The other detractors include Reps. Lloyd Doggett (Texas), Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.), Seth Moulton (Mass.), Mike Quigley (Ill.), Angie Craig (Minn.), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), Adam Smith (Wash.), Pat Ryan (N.Y.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) and Rep. Hillary Scholten (Mich.).

Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is the only Democratic senator to make the same call.

Biden has so far rejected the growing chorus of calls to drop out and insists he is staying in the race. In a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, Biden urged them to unite behind his candidacy.

Earlier this week, House Democrats held a closed-door meeting Tuesday to discuss Biden’s political future, where many party members maintained they are sticking with Biden. Emerging from the meeting — which lasted roughly two hours — Democrats suggested the debate was lopsided in favor of keeping Biden on the ticket.

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