Democratic Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey calls on Biden to drop out of race

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., called on President Joe Biden to end his re-election bid after a meeting Tuesday morning with fellow House Democrats about the presidential race.

Sherrill said in a statement that “the stakes are too high — and the threat is too real — to stay silent” and that Biden should redirect his efforts toward identifying a new Democratic nominee.

“I know that President Biden and his team have been true public servants and have put the country and the best interests of democracy first and foremost in their considerations,” she said. “And because I know President Biden cares deeply about the future of our country, I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for reelection and will help lead us through a process toward a new nominee.”

Reached for comment, a campaign official pointed NBC News to Biden‘s public letter telling congressional Democrats on Monday he was not dropping out, saying, “The voters have spoken clearly and decisively.”

Sherrill is the ninth House Democrat to have called for Biden to bow out of the race, a week after Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first to urge him to step aside.

During a closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday morning, only a handful of lawmakers raised concerns about Biden’s age and his ability to defeat former President Donald Trump in November, sources in the room told NBC News.

Biden is stepping up outreach efforts to assuage concerns about his candidacy after his poor debate performance against Trump in Atlanta last month.

NBC News reported earlier that Biden is scheduled to speak virtually with Democratic mayors Tuesday night and answer their questions, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Overall, congressional Democrats have been largely supportive of Biden in their public remarks. Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, a top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday reversed his position from a private call Sunday in which, sources said, he called for Biden to step aside.

Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, who chairs Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, voiced his support for Biden on Monday, as did Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford, D-Nev., who was among many Democratic lawmakers to back him this week.

Biden lost Sherrill’s support nearly six years after he traveled to New Jersey to campaign for her ahead of her first successful election. It was the first campaign event Biden held after Labor Day that year on behalf of congressional, Senate and gubernatorial candidates that helped him build a case for electability in his 2020 run.

At the 2018 campaign event for Sherrill, Biden referred to Republicans who urged President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974.

“My Republican colleagues, they know better. But they’re silent. They’re afraid,” Biden said at the time. “You know who brought down Nixon? Barry Goldwater went to the White House and said, ‘Enough.'”

Biden mentioned other Republicans from the Nixon era and said: “They stood up! And they said enough is enough is enough.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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