Black leaders reaffirm support for Biden amid Democratic infighting

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Black leaders reaffirm support for Biden amid Democratic infighting

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are throwing their support behind President Biden as a growing number of Democrats call for him to suspend his 2024 campaign. 

On Sunday, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) issued a sharp rebuttal of those calling for Biden to step aside. 

“Any ‘leader’ calling for President Biden to drop out needs to get their priorities straight and stop undermining this incredible actual leader who has delivered real results for our country,” Wilson said in a statement. “And when you contrast that with a dangerous figure like Donald Trump pushing a radical agenda to be dictator on day one and destroy our democracy, we must do everything in our power to defeat him; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is the ticket to do just that.”

She went on to say that Project 2025, a set of policy proposals some conservatives have promised to enact should former President Trump win in November, is a “draconian 920-page plan to end U.S. Democracy.”

“What Democrats need to be doing is stop listening to these political pundits and focus on what’s at stake this election: our democracy,” Wilson added. “End of story. I stand with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and so should all Americans.”

Her comments came after Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.), one of Biden’s most prominent Black allies in Congress, repeatedly expressed his support for the incumbent, while adding that should the president step aside, he would back Vice President Harris to replace him.

Five House Democrats have publicly called for Biden to suspend his campaign following last month’s poor debate performance. Biden has remained adamant he will continue to seek reelection. 

But some Black Democrats warned that the party’s infighting could alienate Black voters, a crucial demographic that many say played a critical role in sending Biden to the White House in 2020. 

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) gave a passionate response to calls for Biden to step aside at Essence Festival last week. 

“He should have done better in the debate, but hell, he’s already starting to do better,” she said. “Did you see the latest interview? And he gets stronger, and he’s going to do better every day.”

She also addressed concerns over Biden’s age, noting that she is older than the 81-year-old president and calling Trump a “no-good, deplorable, lying despicable human being.”

“Do we have to talk about the difference between these two? There ain’t gonna be no other Democratic candidate. It’s going to be Biden, and you better know it,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has also thrown her support behind Biden. 

In an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Beatty said she is “100 percent with the president.”

“We are standing up with the Biden-Harris team because they have delivered for protecting our freedom and our democracy,” she said. 

But as Biden faces growing criticism from his party, former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) pointed out that a majority of those calling for Biden to step aside are white Democrats. 

“I think it’s interesting that not one African-American member [of Congress] has called on the president to step down,” Richmond told POLITICO Playbook on Monday. He added that these lawmakers “risk alienating some of their base” by retracting their support for Biden.