Calls for Joe Biden to Step Aside After Debate Debacle and Health Concerns


In the wake of a shaky performance during the first presidential debate of 2024, President Joe Biden faces increasing pressure from within his own party to reconsider his re-election bid.

This debate, held against former President Trump, has sparked a wave of concern among Democrats, who are now openly discussing the once unthinkable: replacing Biden on the ticket.

A Disastrous Debate Performance

Biden’s performance was widely panned by both political commentators and Democratic insiders. The president appeared frail and unfocused, stumbling over key points and failing to mount a robust defense of his administration’s record. He struggled particularly with topics like healthcare and the economy, at one point mistakenly claiming, “we finally beat Medicare,” a gaffe that left many in his party bewildered and anxious about his ability to effectively campaign​​.

Health and Age Concerns

At 81, Biden’s age has been a persistent concern throughout his presidency. His debate performance did little to alleviate these worries, with critics pointing to his halting speech and visible exhaustion as evidence that he may no longer be fit for the rigorous demands of the presidency. This has reignited the debate over whether Biden should continue his campaign or step aside for a younger, more vigorous candidate​​.

Democratic Party in Disarray

The immediate fallout from the debate saw a flurry of messages among Democratic strategists and donors, with some calling for an “open convention” to replace Biden. High-profile figures within the party, including former officials and major donors, have expressed a growing sense of urgency to find an alternative candidate who can energize the base and compete more effectively against Trump​.

Mixed Reactions from Democratic Leaders

Despite the mounting pressure, some prominent Democrats have come to Biden’s defense. California Governor Gavin Newsom and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker have both voiced their support, arguing that one poor debate should not overshadow Biden’s overall record and achievements. Newsom emphasized the importance of unity and warned against making hasty decisions based on a single event​​.

Biden Campaign’s Response

Senior Biden campaign advisers have been quick to downplay the significance of the debate missteps, focusing instead on the president’s accomplishments and the broader stakes of the upcoming election. Anita Dunn, a senior adviser, defended Biden in a recent interview, stating that while the debate was not his best moment, it is a minor blip in a campaign defined by significant policy achievements. She also highlighted that Biden remains the only candidate who has successfully defeated Trump in a presidential election​​.

Looking Ahead

As the Democratic Party grapples with this internal strife, the clock is ticking towards the next debate scheduled for September. Biden’s performance in that debate could be crucial in determining the future direction of his campaign. For now, the party remains divided, with some calling for a drastic change and others urging patience and unity behind the incumbent president.

The situation remains fluid, and the coming weeks will likely see continued debate and discussion about the best path forward for the Democratic Party as it seeks to maintain control of the White House.