Rep. Jerry Nadler Flip-Flops on Whether Biden Should Drop Out

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is walking back his previous comments calling for President Joe Biden to drop out of the race after his poor June 27 debate performance.

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The lawmaker told reporters on Tuesday that he was still supporting the president, who is seeking a second term in office. “At this point, he is the best candidate. He is the only candidate.”

Previously, Nadler had joined the chorus of Democratic politicians who argued that Biden should give up on his campaign and let another candidate take up the mantle. During a phone call with other Democratic lawmakers on Sunday, Nadler argued that the president should leave the race.

In an effort to “get on the same page,” House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries is convening lawmakers for private meetings before he shows his own preference, according to a person familiar with the situation and granted anonymity to discuss it. He plans to gather Democrats on Monday whose bids for reelection are most vulnerable.

But a private call Sunday of some 15 top House committee members exposed the deepening divide as at least four more Democrats — Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state and Rep. Mark Takano of California — privately said Biden should step aside.

Nadler, as the most senior ranking member on the call, was the first person to speak up and say that Biden should step aside, according to a person familiar with the call who was granted anonymity to discuss it. He did so aware of his seniority and that it would allow others to join him.

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Now, it appears Nadler has changed his tune. His pivot on the matter could have been prompted by a letter sent by the president to congressional Democrats rebuking them for their lack of support. In the letter, he affirmed that he is “firmly committed to staying in this race, to running this race to the end, and to beating Donald Trump.”

The president highlighted that the party already had a nomination process “and the voters have spoken clearly and decisively.”

The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end. We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump. We have 42 days to the Democratic Convention and 119 days to the general election. Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.

Still, there are plenty of Democratic politicians and media figures who have stuck to their guns about Biden leaving the race. Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) became the fifth leftist lawmaker to publicly call for Biden to allow another candidate to take his place in a post on X.

As an elected leader, I feel a responsibility to be honest about what I believe, even when it’s hard to hear. President Biden is a good man & I appreciate his lifetime of service. But I believe he should step aside for the next generation of leadership. The stakes are too high.

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While the president has reportedly expressed doubts privately about his ability to defeat Trump, he has not bowed to pressure and appears steadfast in his commitment to continue his campaign.

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