Julián Castro: Biden ‘very likely to lose to Trump,’ should withdraw from race

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Julián Castro: Biden ‘very likely to lose to Trump,’ should withdraw from race

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro argued Tuesday that President Biden should bow out of the presidential race, predicting that he’s “very likely” to lose to former President Trump in November.

Castro, who served under former President Obama and briefly ran against Biden in 2020, was one of the first prominent Democrats to publicly say the president should go after his poor debate performance last week raised concerns with those in the party.

“Joe Biden is a good man and has been a good president,” Castro wrote on social media platform X. “But last week’s debate disturbingly demonstrated that he is unable to effectively prosecute the case against Donald Trump — much less inspire and mobilize voters to the polls.”

“Sadly, President Biden is not the campaigner he was in 2020 — and looks very likely to lose to Trump, one of the weakest candidates in presidential history,” he continued. “I am convinced that a number of other Democrats, including Vice President Harris, stand a better chance of winning.”

Harris has been a top pick to replace Biden from those calling on the incumbent to leave the race, with the group arguing she is more likely to defeat Trump. The vice president has backed Biden publicly.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) became the first sitting member of Congress to call on Biden to leave the race Tuesday, while also encouraging Harris to take the mantle. Other members, including close Biden ally Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) have said they would back Harris if Biden steps down, though have not called on him to do so.

A CNN poll released Tuesday showed Trump now beating Biden nationwide by 6 points, 49 percent support to 43 percent. The same survey showed the former president leading Harris by an even narrower margin, 47 percent support to 45 percent.

The survey also found that 56 percent of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning independent voters think their party would have a better chance of winning the White House with someone other than Biden. Only 43 percent of these voters said they think the incumbent is their best option.

The Biden campaign has brushed off the criticism, quickly shutting down any idea that the president would leave the race. Biden himself has characterized the poor debate performance as a one-time bad day, instead of a larger trend as some critics fear.

“I wasn’t very smart. I decided to travel around the world a couple of times … shortly before the debate,” the president said at a fundraiser Tuesday evening. “I didn’t listen to my staff … and then I almost fell asleep on stage.”

Castro underlined his call by pointing to the high stakes of the November election.

“Defeating Donald Trump is too important for Democrats to do nothing,” he wrote. “Time is running out.”