Opinion | Senator Peter Welch: Biden should drop out of the 2024 race
Opinion | Senator Peter Welch: Biden should drop out of the 2024 race

Democrat Peter Welch represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate.

I have great respect for President Biden. He saved our country from a tyrant. He is a man of uncommon decency. He cares deeply about our democracy. He was one of the best presidents of our time.

But I, like people across the country, am concerned about the November election. There is little at stake anymore. We cannot undo President Biden’s disastrous performance in the debate. We cannot ignore or dismiss the legitimate questions that have been raised since that night.

I understand why President Biden wants to run. He saved us from Donald Trump once and he wants to do it again. But he needs to reevaluate whether he is the best candidate for the job. In my view, he is not.

For the good of the country, I urge President Biden to drop out of the race.

Trump is a felon. He is a pathological liar. He is a menace. And he will surely be emboldened by his activist Supreme Court, which has granted him near-total immunity.

When Trump was president, he consistently put his own interests above those of the nation – culminating in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. He called the January 6 insurrectionists “patriots.”

Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans have clearly outlined their plans for a second Trump term and laid out an extremist agenda with their Project 2025.

But the national debate is focused on President Biden’s age and abilities. Only he can change that.

I offer this assessment with sadness. Vermont loves Joe Biden. President Biden and Vice President Harris received a higher percentage of the vote here than in any other state. But everyday Vermonters are worried he can’t win this time, and they’re terrified of another Trump presidency. These are real concerns from everyday voters I’ve heard about lately – like a mother who relies on the child tax credit and seniors who rely on Medicare.

The latest data make it clear that the political danger for Democrats is increasing. States that were once strongholds are now trending Republican. These new shifts – in Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia – must be taken seriously, not denied or ignored.

The good news is that President Biden has united the party and created a strong voting base that can defeat Trump. Vice President Harris is a capable, proven leader, and we have other eligible, young, dynamic Democratic governors and senators in swing states. These leaders not only have experience running and winning in a difficult political environment, but they also have fundraising networks, media experience, charisma, and the ability to inspire voters across generations and across our constituency.

We have long asked President Biden to do so much for so many. It took unprecedented selflessness and courage. He must put us first, as he has before. I urge him to do it now.

By Everly