Illinois Democrat becomes latest House member to call on Biden to exit race

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Illinois Democrat becomes latest House member to call on Biden to exit race

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) became the latest House Democrat to call on President Biden to exit the 2024 presidential race Friday, following his poor debate performance last week.

Quigley, in an interview Friday evening on MSNBC’s “All in with Chris Hayes,” joined a growing list of Democrats who are skeptical about Biden’s ability to beat former President Trump in November.

“Mr. President, your legacy is set. We owe you the greatest debt of gratitude,” Quigley said, referring to Biden. “The only thing that you can do now to cement that for all time and prevent utter catastrophe is to step down and let someone else do this.”

He said in the interview that it’s a tough decision to press Biden to step aside, given what he has done for the country.

Quigley, who has held his seat in Congress since a 2009 special election, joined Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) in explicitly calling for Biden to step down and give someone else the chance to run against Trump.

Doggett, the first to make that call, said he hoped the debate would help the president’s campaign, but was disappointed. In response, he said he hopes Biden makes the “painful decision to withdraw.”

Grijalva said he will still support Biden but thinks it’s time the party choose someone new. Moulton said Thursday that Biden should follow in former President George Washington’s footsteps and step aside for new leaders to take on Trump.

Warning of another “nightmare” Trump presidency, Quigley said if Biden drops out, Democrats would be “back in the dogfight.”

“So, I would say to those folks who say everything’s fine: It’s not,” he said, invoking the potential impact Biden’s debate could have on House and Senate races down the ballot. “And everything you care about is on the line.”

The president’s debate showing last week sparked widespread panic among Democrats about not only Biden’s ability to beat Trump in the polls this fall, but also his ability to execute the role of president for another term.

Since then, there have been many calls for him to suspend his campaign and allow another candidate to take on Trump. Still, Biden and his team have insisted he is not going to drop out.

In his first major rally since the calls began, Biden forcefully declared Friday that he’s staying in the race. He participated in an interview later Friday with ABC news, in what was largely seen as a make-or-break moment to salvage his campaign.

Quigley joined ABC after Biden’s interview, saying he thinks highly of Vice President Harris and that he thinks Biden will ultimately come to a decision.

But for now, he said, everyone should take it “day by day.”