Sen. Peter Welch, D-Vt., urged President Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday, making Welch the Senate’s first Democrat to publicly make the request as the president rejects calls to drop out from critics and Democratic allies alike following a rocky debate performance in June.

Key Facts

Welch’s op-ed started with praise for Biden, calling him “a man of uncommon decency” before shortly expressing concerns about the president’s chances against former President Donald Trump, citing Biden’s “disastrous debate performance.”

Welch said Vermont loves the president, but “regular Vermonters are worried that he can’t win this time, and they’re terrified of another Trump presidency.”

The senator did not call for a specific replacement for Biden, but called Vice President Harris a “capable, proven leader” and noted Democrats have other “electable, young, energizing Democratic governors and senators in swing states.”

Welch joins nearly a dozen House Democrat calling for Biden’s withdrawal.

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Actor George Clooney, who has largely supported Biden, called for the president to step away from the race in a New York Times opinion piece Wednesday and said he cannot win “the fight against time.”

Key Background

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., on Wednesday evening became the latest House Democrat calling for Biden’s withdrawal, joining the likes of Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn., Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, and several others. The calls are fueled by the president’s shaky debate performance last month that put his mental acuity in the spotlight and has left Democrats concerned about his chances against Trump, whose lead in polls has widened in nearly every survey following the debate. Biden said he “had a bad night” during the debate and has strongly pushed back against calls for him to withdraw.

Further Reading

Rep. Pat Ryan Becomes 10th Congress Member Calling For Biden Replacement: Here’s The Full List (Forbes)

Brokered Convention, Open Convention Or ‘Mini-Primary’? Democrats Float Plan B As Biden’s Fate In Doubt (Forbes)

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