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Dem Rep. Mike Quigley Tells CNN Host Biden Should ‘Be Honest With Himself,’ Decide To Step Down

Illinois Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley told CNN host Casey Hunt on Monday morning that President Joe Biden should “be honest with himself” and decide to step down.

Quigley appears to be the first House Democrat to acknowledge since the first 2024 presidential debate that Biden should reconsider running for reelection, telling Hunt that Biden's decision will impact lower-ranking candidates in his party.

“The next morning, I saw the news and I said to myself, 'He had a really bad night, so let's move on,'” Quigley said. “Obviously, we have to be honest with ourselves and understand where our constituents stand, and there are a number of concerns about this situation given where we are. The real tragedy is that the American people were unable to see the contrast between two very different people who served as president for four years.”

“With President Biden at the top of the list, does that jeopardize Democrats' hopes of retaining or even regaining control of Congress, depending on the chamber?” Hunt asked.

“Let's put it in perspective: If I were to talk to the president today, I would advise him that the decision that he has to make now is clearly his own,” Quigley said. “I have a lot of respect for the president and I appreciate the extraordinary job he's done. I think his four years have been one of the greatest presidential terms of our lifetimes. But I think he has to be honest with himself. This is a decision he has to make. He has to understand, obviously. I mean, as you say, his decision is going to affect not only who's in the White House for the next four years, but who's in the House of Representatives, and it's going to have implications for decades to come.”

“It sounds like you're actually open to the idea that it might be the right decision for him to step down,” Hunt said.

“I think the thing I want to emphasize is that this has to be his decision,” Quigley told the CNN host. “We have to be honest with ourselves. And it wasn't just a bad night. I'm not going to say any more than that out of respect and understanding for President Joe Biden. He's a very proud man who's given us extraordinary service for 50 years. But this is his decision. I just want him to understand at this time how much this impacts not only his election, but all the other elections that are coming up in November.” (Related: Anderson Cooper challenges former Biden adviser after political analyst says 'cognitive decline' dates back a year)

Asked if a “dam” would “break” if Democratic congressional candidates polled poorly, Quigley said it was “clear” that Biden's debate performance “had no influence” on his decision. The Illinois senator told Hunt he didn't know “what” would make Biden decide to drop out.

Minnesota Democratic Congressman and former 2024 presidential candidate Dean Phillips Warned Phillips argued to the party that Biden's “vulnerabilities” “predate” his candidacy in December 2023. A few months ago, Phillips said Biden “would never be able” to campaign the way he did then.

“Isn't it a service to the Democratic Party to expose him now?” Phillips asked during his presidential run, “because if he becomes the nominee, he's going to be exposed in a much more difficult arena in a few months.”

Philips Said Fox News reporter Jesse Watters said Biden should resign despite being a “decent person” following the president's press conference following the release of special counsel Robert Hur's report in February 2024. Phillips said “the American people wouldn't be having this conversation” if Biden, whom Hur described as a “well-meaning old man with a bad memory” and unfit to stand trial, had not run for president.

Phillips has not broken his silence since Thursday's debate.

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