Written by Ashton Snyder on
 July 3, 2024

Biden Urged to Step Aside After Debate by Longtime Colleague

Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin has called on Democrats to persuade President Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 race after a lackluster debate performance that has fueled age-related concerns.

Harkin's comments underscore a growing unease within the Democratic Party, though some prominent figures continue to support Biden.

According to Fox News, Harkin, who served alongside Biden in Congress for over two decades, voiced his concerns during an interview with Julie Gammack on Iowa Potluck. He urged Democratic leaders to convince Biden to step aside, citing a debate performance that he described as disastrous.

Harkin Calls for New Leadership

The former senator's remarks come in the wake of widespread criticism of Biden's debate appearance. According to Harkin, voter perception is that former President Donald Trump can take command of a situation and control the outcome despite his answers being "meandering, gobbledygook, and full of lies."

Harkin's call for Biden to release his delegates and step aside was directed at incumbent Democratic Senators and several governors. He argued that Biden's current condition starkly contrasts with his past demeanor.

"Last night was a disaster from which Biden cannot recover," Harkin asserted, emphasizing that Biden has declined since his State of the Union address. He noted the president's physical demeanor as evidence of this decline.

Mixed Reactions Within the Party

Following Biden's debate performance on Thursday, there were immediate calls within the Democratic Party for him to withdraw over concerns about his age. However, not all party members share Harkin's view. Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Whip James Clyburn defended Biden, attributing his performance to "preparation overload."

The Biden campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. In a campaign ad released after the debate, Biden addressed concerns about his age, emphasizing his experience and resilience.

"Folks, I know I’m not a young man," Biden stated in the ad. "But I know how to do this job. I know right from wrong. I know how to tell the truth. And I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up."

Future of Biden's Campaign

Harkin's remarks highlight a growing divide within the Democratic Party regarding Biden's candidacy. While some leaders support him, others are beginning to question whether he is the best candidate to take on Trump in 2024.

As the debate over Biden's fitness for office continues, the party must grapple with the implications of either supporting an incumbent president or rallying behind a new candidate. Harkin's call for new leadership is a significant development in this ongoing discussion.

The debate performance has undeniably sparked a broader conversation about age and capability in political leadership. Biden's response and the actions of the Democratic Party in the coming months will be crucial in shaping the 2024 race.

In summary, former Sen. Tom Harkin has called for President Joe Biden to step aside following a criticized debate performance. Harkin's comments reflect a growing sentiment within the Democratic Party, although some prominent figures continue to support Biden. The Biden campaign has yet to respond to these calls, leaving the future of his candidacy uncertain.

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