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Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett calls on Biden to drop out of the presidential race

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett speaks during a press conference in 2021. The Austin congressman on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race.
Michael Minasi
/
KUT News
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett speaks during a press conference in 2021. The Austin congressman on Tuesday called on President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett called on President Joe Biden to step aside as the Democratic nominee for president.

With his statement Tuesday, Doggett became the first congressional Democrat to publicly ask the president to drop out after last week's dismal debate performance against former President Donald Trump.

"President Biden has continued to run substantially behind Democratic senators in key states and in most polls has trailed Donald Trump," Doggett wrote. "I had hoped that the debate would provide some momentum to change that. It did not. Instead of reassuring voters, the President failed to effectively defend his many accomplishments and expose Trump’s many lies."

Biden's performance in last week's debate shocked Democrats, opening up the prospect of replacing the sitting president ahead of the November election. The 81-year-old candidate doubled-down on his ability to take on Trump in the election, but doubts among Democrats have persisted over the last few days.

The longtime Austin representative said he respected Biden's record in Congress and in the White House, but that he didn't believe he could defeat Trump.

"My decision to make these strong reservations public is not done lightly nor does it in any way diminish my respect for all that President Biden has achieved," Doggett said. "Recognizing that, unlike Trump, President Biden’s first commitment has always been to our country, not himself, I am hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw. I respectfully call on him to do so."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2024 KUT 90.5

Andrew Weber is a freelance reporter and associate editor for KUT News. A graduate of St. Edward's University with a degree in English, Andrew has previously interned with The Texas Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman and KOOP Radio.