Raúl Grijalva Is Second House Democrat to Call for Biden to Drop Out - The World News

Raúl Grijalva Is Second House Democrat to Call for Biden to Drop Out

Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, a progressive Arizona Democrat, on Wednesday became the second House Democrat to publicly urge President Biden to leave the race, citing the “precarious” state of the president’s campaign.

“What he needs to do is shoulder the responsibility for keeping that seat — and part of that responsibility is to get out of this race,” Mr. Grijalva, 76, said in an interview with The New York Times.

His remarks came one day after Representative Lloyd Doggett, a 77-year-old progressive Democrat from Texas, called on Mr. Biden to withdraw. Both men are close in age to Mr. Biden, 81, whose halting debate performance on Thursday reignited questions about his age and acuity.

Mr. Grijalva questioned whether Mr. Biden could beat former President Donald J. Trump and said that Democrats needed to “put up a fight.” Mr. Grijalva, who was diagnosed with cancer in March, stressed that he believed Mr. Biden was a “good man” and that he would support the president if he stayed in the race.

But that decision should be based on the stakes of the race, Mr. Grijalva said, describing the possibility of a second Trump presidency as “very, very dangerous” and characterizing the former president as an “anti-democratic, authoritarian despot.”

The Biden campaign declined to comment on Mr. Grijalva’s remarks. But earlier Wednesday, the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said in a regularly scheduled news briefing that the president was “absolutely not” considering withdrawing.

Mr. Grijalva’s warning came shortly after the release of a poll from The New York Times and Siena College that showed Mr. Trump leading Mr. Biden by six points, an increase of three points from a week earlier.

Many House Democrats have privately spent recent days grappling with what position to take on Mr. Biden’s struggling campaign, and a number have opted to remain quiet. Several, including Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, have publicly voiced support for Mr. Biden staying in the race.

Mr. Grijalva did not say who he would favor in place of Mr. Biden, but he mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris as a possibility.

“We have to win this race, and we have to hold the House and hold the Senate,” Mr. Grijalva said, arguing that a victory by Mr. Trump would mean that everything Democrats have done under Mr. Biden “goes down the sewer.”

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