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Blumenauer becomes ninth House Democrat calling for Biden to step aside

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) on Wednesday became the ninth House Democrat to publicly call for President Biden to withdraw from the race, adding to a growing chorus of lawmakers who have expressed concerns about the president’s — and the party’s — chances in November. 

“No president has had more accomplishments under more difficult circumstances than President Joe Biden,” Blumenauer wrote in a statement.  “He’s navigated international crises while enacting landmark legislation combating the climate crisis, recovering from COVID, rebuilding and renewing America, and guiding our economic recovery. These are unprecedented achievements.”

However, the Oregon Democrat, who’s retiring after his current term, said that “the question before the country is whether the president should continue his candidacy for re-election.”

“This is not just about extending his presidency but protecting democracy,” Blumenauer said. “While this is a decision for the president and the first lady, I hope they will come to the conclusion that I and others have: President Biden should not be the Democratic presidential nominee.”

Eight other House Democrats have publicly called on Biden to exit the race: Reps. Llyod Doggett (D-Texas), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) and Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.). 

Blumenauer’s statement underscores House Democrats’ lingering fears that with Biden still in the race, his candidacy jeopardizes the party’s ability to keep the White House in November and flip the House. 

Biden has been adamant in interviews since his disastrous debate performance that he’s remaining in the race, but the slow drip-drip of statements from members of the parties, and now celebrities, highlight Democrats’ anxieties.

Notably, actor George Clooney, who held a fundraiser for the president last month, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times published on Wednesday calling for Biden to exit the race. 

A forecast from Decision Desk HQ released this week found that Republicans have a 65 percent chance of keeping the House, with a 58 percent chance of flipping the White House and 82 percent chance of winning the Senate majority. 

Updated at 7:13 p.m.