5 Democratic lawmakers want Biden to step down from US presidential race

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Washington, Jul 8 (PTI) At least five Democratic lawmakers expressed their view on Sunday that President Joe Biden should step down from the US presidential election scheduled for November 5, according to multiple news reports.

The lawmakers -- Jerry Nadler, Mark Takano, Joe Morelle, Ted Lieu and Adam Smith -- expressed their view in this regard during a Democratic Party phone call organised to discuss Biden's disastrous debate performance against his Republican rival, Donald Trump, in Atlanta on June 27.

Biden himself has described his performance as "a bad night". His approval ratings have come down and his own party colleagues have started questioning his health and ability to govern the country for the next four years. Biden has asserted that he is staying in the race and exuded confidence that he will win the election against Trump in November.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries had convened a virtual meeting of his party colleagues in the House of Representatives to discuss the evolving political scenarios after the June 27 presidential debate between Biden and Trump.

The virtual meeting was billed as a "listening session" to get inputs from members about the viability of Biden's candidacy, "The New York Times" reported, adding that it was clear before the call that many top Democrats felt strongly that Biden had to go.

Congressman Smith, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said it is time for Biden to go, according to two people familiar with the call, the daily reported. The four other Congressmen also felt the same and believed it was time for Biden to exit the race.

"Lieu was the highest-ranking person in the House Democratic leadership to support pressing for Biden to not seek reelection," "The Washington Post" reported.

"The developments opened a wide crack in Biden's wall of support, bringing the number of House Democrats publicly or privately saying he should step aside to about 10. They included the top Democrats on the Judiciary, Armed Services and Intelligence committees. The defections cast further doubts on Biden's path forward, even as he largely controls his own fate thanks to sweeping the Democratic presidential primaries," "The Wall Street Journal" reported.

Meanwhile, Biden and his team appeared defiant to such a call and asserted that he is in the race. Biden himself has exuded confidence that he would defeat Trump in November.

Biden was in Pennsylvania on Sunday, addressing rallies and meeting people in the key battleground state. PTI LKJ RC