Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill calls on Biden to drop out of race

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., called on President Joe Biden to end his re-election bid after a meeting Tuesday morning with fellow House Democrats on the 2024 race.

The New Jersey lawmaker said in a statement that “the stakes are too high — and the threat is too real — to stay silent,” and that Biden should redirect his efforts toward identifying a new Democratic nominee.

“I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of democracy first and foremost in their considerations,” Sherrill said. “And because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.”

When reached for comment, a Biden campaign official pointed NBC News to the president’s public letter to congressional Democrats on Monday telling them he was not dropping out, saying that “the voters have spoken clearly and decisively.”

Sherrill is the 9th House Democrat to call for Biden to bow out of the race, a week after Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first Democratic lawmaker to urge Biden to step aside.

During a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, only a handful of lawmakers raised concerns about Biden’s age and his ability to defeat former President Donald Trump in November, sources in the room told NBC News.

Biden is stepping up outreach efforts to assuage concerns about his candidacy following his poor debate performance against Trump in Atlanta last month.

NBC News reported earlier that Biden is slated to speak virtually with Democratic mayors Tuesday night and answer their questions, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Overall, congressional Democrats have been largely supportive of Biden in their public remarks. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., a top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday reversed his position from a private call on Sunday in which sources said he called for Biden to step aside.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, who chairs the campaign arm for Senate Democrats, voiced his support for Biden on Monday, as did Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who was among many Democratic lawmakers to back the president this week.

Biden’s loss of support from Sherrill comes nearly six years after he traveled to New Jersey to campaign for her ahead of her first successful election. It was the first campaign event Biden held after Labor Day that year on behalf of congressional, Senate and gubernatorial candidates that helped him build a case for electability in his 2020 run.

During the 2018 campaign event for Sherrill, Biden referenced Republicans who urged President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974.

“My Republican colleagues, they know better. But they’re silent. They’re afraid,” Biden said at the time. “You know who brought down Nixon? Barry Goldwater went to the White House and said, enough.”

Biden mentioned other Republicans from the Nixon era and said, “They stood up! And they said enough is enough is enough.”

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