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July 7, 2024, presidential election news | CNN Politics

President Joe Biden arrives at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin, on July 5.

More than a handful of House Democratic ranking members told House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in a Sunday call that President Joe Biden needs to step aside from the 2024 campaign, according to sources familiar with the call. 

Jeffries held the call to take the temperature of ranking members before lawmakers return to Washington this week. The call was filled with deep concern about potential damage to the Democratic ticket and how it imperils the party’s chances to win back the House majority. 

The number of lawmakers who explicitly said Biden should not be the Democratic nominee was greater than the number who spoke up for him to stay, according to the source. Among those who opposed Biden as the nominee were Reps. Mark Takano, Adam Smith, Jim Himes, Joe Morelle, Susan Wild and Jerry Nadler, according to sources familiar with the matter. Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Bobby Scott spoke in support of Biden, according to one of the sources. 

One of the concerns expressed during the nearly two-hour call was that Democrats will lose their chance at a House majority if Biden is the candidate, one of the source said, adding that it was generally acknowledged the nominee should be Vice President Kamala Harris.

“It was pretty brutal,” a senior Democratic aide told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation among House leaders.

No decisions about demands for a White House meeting or sending a letter to Biden are expected to be made before the full Democratic caucus meets on Tuesday, aides said, but Jeffries has made clear he will allow members to speak their minds and make their own judgments.

Biden, who is visiting battleground Pennsylvania on Sunday, answered with a resounding “yes” when press asked whether the Democratic Party was still behind him.

This post has been updated.

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