Rep. Pat Ryan, a moderate New York Democrat, calls on Biden to withdraw from race


WASHINGTON — Rep. Pat Ryan, a moderate New York Democrat, on Wednesday joined some of his other colleagues in calling on President Joe Biden to withdraw from the 2024 presidential race.

“Trump is an existential threat to American democracy; it is our duty to put forward the strongest candidate against him. Joe Biden is a patriot but is no longer the best candidate to defeat Trump. For the good of our country, I am asking Joe Biden to step aside — to deliver on his promise to be a bridge to a new generation of leaders,” Ryan wrote in a post on X.

He first shared his stance in a phone interview with The New York Times.

Ryan, 42, who joined Congress in Sept. 2022, represents New York’s 18th Congressional District, which includes Orange, Dutchess and Ulster Counties and covers the city of Poughkeepsie.

He has been a strong supporter of the president and has campaigned with him several times. He won his seat in a special election in August 2022 in part by campaigning heavily on the fallout from Roe v. Wade being struck down. Cook Political Report rates his re-election race as slightly competitive this November, with it leaning Democrat.

His Republican opponent, Alison Esposito, criticized Ryan on Tuesday for not being honest with constituents about Biden’s cognitive abilities.

“It is long past time for Pat Ryan to find a backbone and be honest with Hudson Valley voters about what is truly happening,” she wrote in a post on Facebook. “Biden is unfit to serve as President, and instead of recognizing the truth, Ryan continues to be a rubber stamp for Biden’s failed policies and acts as if nothing is wrong.”

Ryan is one of at least 10 House Democrats who have either privately or publicly called on Biden to step aside.

Though many of Biden’s most prominent allies, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have defended him, others have expressed concerns about his ability to win in November.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also stopped short Wednesday morning of giving a full-throated endorsement of Biden staying in the race, saying that “time is running short” for the president to decide his political future.

Biden and his aides have sought this week to quell concerns from congressional Democrats following his disappointing performance in last month’s debate against Trump. The president began the week by sending a letter to Democratic lawmakers stating that he wouldn’t be running if he didn’t think he was the best person to defeat former President Donald Trump.

“I wouldn’t be running again if I did not absolutely believe I was the best person to beat Donald Trump in 2024,” Biden wrote. “We had a Democratic nomination process and the voters have spoken clearly and decisively.”

House Democrats huddled behind closed doors on Tuesday morning and many left the caucus meeting silent after reportedly being told by leadership not to speak to the media. While House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., has reiterated that he supports Biden as the nominee, he left the meeting saying it was a “very constructive conversation amongst the House Democratic Caucus family.”

Asked if Democrats had reached a consensus on Biden, Jeffries said, “The conversations are ongoing.”

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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