NJ Spotlight: Biden should put ‘democracy first’ and resign, Sherrill says
5 mins read

NJ Spotlight: Biden should put ‘democracy first’ and resign, Sherrill says

This article was written by Benjamin Hulac and published in the New Jersey Spotlight on July 9; we reprint it with permission.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11th) became the first member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation to call on President Joe Biden to withdraw his presidential nomination, becoming one of a handful of House members to drop their support for the president.

Sherrill, a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot in her third term, is just the seventh House Democrat to publicly call on Biden to end his campaign.

Sherrill said the dangers of former President Donald Trump winning the election again and achieving his policy goals are too great for Biden, dogged by a June 27 debate in which he appeared disoriented and dazed, to remain in the race.

“I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of our democracy at the forefront of their deliberations,” Sherrill said in a statement. “And because I know that President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I ask that he announce that he will not seek reelection and will help us navigate the process to find a new candidate.”Since last month’s debate, Biden has sought to assure donors, fellow Democrats and the public that he is ready for the grueling grind of completing his campaign, defeating Trump on Election Day and securing a second term.

Debate June 27

In a memorable moment at the June 27 debate, Biden confusingly said, “We finally beat Medicare,” an obvious but erroneous reference to the U.S. government’s new tool for negotiating prescription drug prices.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Biden said Monday in an interview with cable channel MSNBC.

Democrats who want to remove Biden from the running mate face a mid-August deadline, when their party convenes at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago to formally nominate its presidential candidate, that will make replacing him nearly impossible.

No Senate Democrats have pressed Biden to concede, though some, including Michael Bennet of Colorado and Tina Smith of Minnesota, have questioned whether Biden is the right candidate to win in November.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a New York Democrat who leads his party in the House of Representatives, stuck with Biden, as did Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, another New Yorker.

“I support Joe,” Schumer told reporters at the Capitol on Monday.

“The stakes are too high”

In her four-paragraph statement, Sherrill touted Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his defense of Ukraine, his competition with China and his help for war veterans exposed to toxic chemicals burned in pits overseas.

Sherrill, who is widely rumored to be running for New Jersey governor in 2025, also thanked Biden for his most important political race: defeating Trump in 2020.

“When I think about my four children and all the rights that are at risk under another Trump presidency, and in light of the recent Supreme Court decision that gave unlimited power to the president of the United States, the stakes are too high — and the threat too real — to remain silent,” Sherrill said.

When asked whether Biden should withdraw, Rep. Andy Kim (D-3rd) did not provide a clear answer.

“While I continue to listen to the concerns of my constituents and colleagues about the best way to win the White House, I know we must do everything in our power to restore trust in government, keep the New Jersey Senate seat blue, and take back the House of Representatives to stop the Republicans’ radical agenda,” Kim said in a text message provided to NJ Spotlight News through an assistant.

On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1st) praised the Biden administration’s record on jobs.

Asked if that means the congressman thinks Biden should run, the aide declined to answer, referring questions to the Norcross campaign.

During the 2020 election, Biden repeatedly described himself as a “bridge” and “transitional candidate” for the younger generation.

“The president was old when he was first elected. He was older when he ran for office again,” Rep. Adam Smith, one of the Democrats who wants Biden to drop out of the campaign, told PBS Newshour on Monday. “He mentioned he was a bridge.”

Smith added: “The debate performance wasn’t just a bad night. It was a disaster in performance. And he hasn’t improved much since.

Lyndon Johnson was the last US president not to seek a second term.