Schiff: Biden Must ‘Win Overwhelmingly’ or Step Aside

Schiff: Biden Must ‘Win Overwhelmingly’ or Step Aside

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has become the first California Democrat to openly challenge President Joe Biden’s insistence on remaining in the presidential race. In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Schiff emphasized that Biden must either “win overwhelmingly or he has to pass the torch to someone who can.”

Schiff’s comments come amid growing concerns within the Democratic Party about Biden’s ability to secure a second term, especially following a lackluster debate performance and an underwhelming interview with ABC News. Schiff suggested that Vice President Kamala Harris could be a strong contender against former President Donald Trump, stating that she has the “experience, judgment, and leadership ability to be an extraordinary president.”

When asked if Biden could win the election, Schiff reiterated his stance: “Either he has to win overwhelmingly or he has to pass the torch to someone who can.” He added that Biden should consult with people outside his immediate circle to make the right decision for the country. “I’m confident Joe Biden has always made the fundamental distinguishing distinction between he and Donald Trump,” Schiff said.

Schiff also raised concerns about Biden’s age and its impact on his electability. “Given Biden’s incredible record and given Trump’s terrible record, he should be mopping the floor with Donald Trump,” Schiff noted. “It should not be even close, and the reason it is close is the president’s age.”

The interview with ABC News, which aired on Friday, did little to quell mounting concerns from Democrats about Biden’s mental fitness. Schiff pointed out that no single interview could put these concerns to rest. “What I do think the president needs to decide is, can he put those concerns aside? Can he demonstrate to the American people that what happened on the debate stage was an aberration, that he can and will beat Donald Trump?” Schiff questioned.

When pressed on whether Biden should take a cognitive test, Schiff said he would be happy if both Biden and Trump were willing to take one. “I think, frankly, a test would show Donald Trump has serious illness of one kind or another,” he said. “But ultimately, the decision is going to come down to what Joe Biden thinks is best, and if his decision is to run, then run hard and beat that S.O.B. And if his decision is to pass the torch, then the president should do everything in his power to make that other candidate successful.”

Schiff’s remarks come after Biden’s interview with ABC News failed to assuage concerns from Democrats who have called for Biden to step aside. Front-line Democrats who spoke to NBC News expressed fears that his debate performance has done irreversible damage to his candidacy. In the interview, Biden sought to reassure voters that he remains the best candidate to beat Trump in November, arguing that he had a “bad night” at the debate.

Despite the growing pressure, Biden remained publicly defiant, repeatedly stating that only “the Lord Almighty” could convince him to end his bid for a second term. However, the number of high-profile Democrats doubting his position as the presumptive party nominee continues to grow. A group of Democratic representatives met online with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to discuss Biden’s candidacy. Among them were Congressmen Jerry Nadler of New York and Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who reportedly told Jeffries that Biden should leave the presidential race.

As Congress returns from its latest recess, the focus among Democrats is whether Biden can continue to campaign for re-election. House Democrats are expected to meet in person with Jeffries to discuss the president’s future. Schiff, who is likely to become California’s next senator in the November election, reiterated that Biden either “has to win overwhelmingly, or he has to pass the torch to someone who can.”

Reports have emerged that representatives Mark Takano of California, Adam Smith of Washington state, Jim Himes of Connecticut, Joe Morelle of New York, and Susan Wild of Pennsylvania have also expressed their desire for Biden to quit the race. Many of them want Harris to take over as the nominee. However, Democrats Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott have voiced their support for Biden to become the nominee and fight for re-election.

As the chaos continues, Biden embarked on a three-stop swing in Pennsylvania, addressing a church service in a majority Black neighborhood in northwestern Philadelphia. He was introduced as “our honored guest,” and senior pastor Louis Felton told the congregation that if they stood together, “there is no election that we cannot win.” Felton described Biden as a president of vision and integrity, adding, “President Biden is coming back. He’s a comeback kid. He’s a fighter. He’s a champion.”

In Harrisburg, Biden joked that “Dark Brandon is coming back,” referring to a nickname that was originally a mistaken interpretation of a Republican insult but was later reclaimed by Biden’s election campaign as a humorous show-of-strength meme. As Biden departed for the White House, he responded to a reporter asking if he would have to convince NATO leaders that he was up for the job again, giving a thumbs up and saying, “I’m up for the job.”

Meanwhile, Mark Warner, a prominent Democrat and U.S. senator for Virginia, is reportedly wrangling Senate Democrats to ask Biden to step down as the presumptive nominee. Schiff emphasized that the president needs to decide whether he can put concerns about his age and mental fitness aside and demonstrate to the American people that he can and will beat Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, signaled continued support for Biden. He acknowledged that Biden is old and not as articulate as he once was but emphasized the importance of policies that benefit the vast majority of people in the country. Sanders challenged Biden to continue to run on policies that help working-class voters, including health insurance coverage, selectively higher taxes, and benefits.

Democratic U.S. senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut said “the clock is ticking” for the president to quell doubts, emphasizing that this is a crucial week for him.

Source: NBC News, CBS, CNN

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