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Top House Democrat Calls for Kamala Harris to Replace Biden

Rep. Adam Smith: ‘He's not the best person to carry the Democratic message’

Top House Democrat Calls for Kamala Harris to Replace Biden

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has called for Vice President Kamala Harris to replace President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee in the 2024 election.

“Well, look, I think he should step aside,” Smith told Jake Tapper during an appearance on CNN’s The Lead. “I think it’s become clear that he’s not the best person to carry the Democratic message.”

“And here’s the thing. We have an incredibly strong message and record to run on,” he added. “Personally, I think Kamala Harris would be a much better, stronger candidate and because she is, constitutionally, is second. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.”

Smith, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, is the most senior lawmaker to publicly call for Biden to step down, The Hill noted.

The congressman, who’s served in the House for 27 years, further elaborated on his stance in a Monday press release imploring Biden to end his candidacy.

“This must happen as soon as possible to give the new ticket the maximum amount of time to make its case to the American people,” Smith said, adding that the president is no longer capable of presenting a clear or articulate case to voters.

The congressman admitted that if Biden doesn’t heed the growing call among Democrats to bow out of the race, Smith would still “back him one hundred percent and without reservation.”

“But no candidate is owed another term in office based solely on past performance,” he added. “Every new term must be earned with the clear understanding of what that candidate will be capable of doing in the term to come.”

“If the President continues his campaign, it would be a mistake,” he concluded. “He should step aside now so that we can find a new candidate that will put us in the strongest possible position to beat Donald Trump in November.”

POLITICO reported that Smith was joined by three other House Democrats who are adamant that Biden should step aside.

According to several people who participated in a private call held by Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) are also advocating for Biden’s replacement. Additionally, House members Jim Himes (Conn.), Zoe Lofgren (Calif.), Don Beyer (Va.) and Rick Larsen (Wash.) reportedly “voiced concerns” about the possibility of a Biden victory.

The outlet reports:

It’s a poor omen for the Biden campaign as the entire Democratic elected apparatus prepares to return to Washington on Monday evening where lawmakers will face tough questioning about their party’s standard-bearer. … The additional calls for Biden to stand aside from senior Democrats come after the president’s interview last week with ABC News did nothing to assuage concerns among rank-and-file lawmakers about his continued viability in the race. Members have repeatedly urged the president to quickly schedule more unscripted events and town halls to continually demonstrate his vitality and energy.

Despite calls for a course correction from lawmakers, pundits and strategists, in addition to a unanimous corporate press panning of Biden’s performance during his recent debate with former President Donald Trump, the president refuses to back down.

“I want you to know that despite all the speculation in the press and elsewhere, I am firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump,” Biden told House Democrats. “I can respond to all this by saying clearly and unequivocally: I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024.”

In recent days, Biden has met with Democratic governors, party leaders, and other high-profile officials to discuss concerns over what may befall the party if he is the candidate on Election Day, a fact he references in his letter.

After Biden’s debate performance, his favorability collapsed so low his popularity now lags behind Vice President Kamala Harris, who, despite having been consistently viewed negatively among voters, is now polling higher than Biden in three key battleground states.

In a viral video that surfaced during the weekend, Trump offered some offhand remarks about Biden and Harris while on the golf course with his son, Barron.

“How did I do with the debate the other night?” he asks offscreen individuals while handing off a cash tip. “I kicked that old broken-down pile of crap. He’s quitting the race. I got him out and that means we have Kamala. I think she’s going to be better. She’s so bad. She’s so pathetic.”

Adrian Norman contributed to this report

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