Key Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi might just be open to ditching Biden

  • Joe Biden wants to stay in the race, but some of his party’s major players may not be convinced.

  • On Wednesday, Pelosi failed to give a firm endorsement of Biden staying in the race.

  • Chuck Schumer has told donors in private that he’s open to replacing Biden, per Axios.

In the aftermath of his disastrous performance in a debate with former President Donald Trump on June 27, President Joe Biden has declared that he plans to remain in the 2024 presidential race.

But new comments and a fresh report show that two of the key voices in his party — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — might not share that same zeal for Biden’s candidacy.

In public, Schumer has supported Biden’s candidacy. But an Axios report published on Wednesday indicates that in private, he may be pushing a different agenda.

Schumer privately told donors he’s open to replacing Biden as the party’s presidential nominee, Axios reported, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

When approached for comment, a Schumer representative pointed Business Insider to a statement the senator issued after the Axios story was published.

“As I have made clear repeatedly publicly and privately, I support President Biden and remain committed to ensuring Donald Trump is defeated in November,” Schumer said.

Also on Wednesday, Pelosi, who stepped down as speaker early last year, failed to clearly endorse Biden as the Democratic candidate.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run,” Pelosi said during an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “We’re all encouraging him to make that decision. Because time is running short.”

“I want him to do whatever he decides to do. And that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides, we go with,” Pelosi continued.

In a statement to The Washington Post on the same day, a spokesperson for Pelosi doubled down on her support for Biden making his own choice. Notably, though, the follow-up statement also did not include a full-throated endorsement of Biden from Pelosi.

The California congresswoman “fully supports whatever President Biden decides to do,” the statement said.

“We must turn our attention to why this race is so important: Donald Trump would be a disaster for our country and our democracy,” the statement said.

Representatives for Pelosi and Biden didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from BI sent outside regular business hours.

The lack of clear endorsement from Pelosi and reports of Schumer’s comments come as the chorus of voices calling for Biden to step down grows ever louder.

Eight House Democrats have called on Biden to quit since his debate against Trump. On Wednesday, Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont also called on Biden to drop out of the running, becoming the first Democratic senator to do so. He’s also lost the support of major donors like Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings and Disney heiress Abigail Disney.

To be sure, not all Democratic politicians have given up on Biden’s candidacy just yet. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Vice President Kamala Harris have both publicly said they support Biden. The party’s progressive faction has also vehemently thrown its support behind the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“Joe Biden is our nominee,” New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Monday. “He is not leaving this race. He is in this race, and I support him.”

“The president can win, and I think he will win,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told HuffPost on Wednesday.

For his part, Biden has said that he’s determined to stay on.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden said in a letter to congressional Democrats on Monday.

“It’s time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump,” the letter continued.

July 11, 2024, 2:11 a.m. — This story has been updated to add context about major donors and Democratic figures who are speaking out against Biden’s candidacy.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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