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Rep. Wild says she expressed concern about Biden’s ‘electability’ during call with House Democrats • Pennsylvania Capital-Star

Rep. Wild says she expressed concern about Biden’s ‘electability’ during call with House Democrats • Pennsylvania Capital-Star

US Rep. Susan Wild (D-7th District) confirmed she had expressed concern “about President Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket,” during a call with House Democrats on Sunday.

CNN reported Wild was among the House Democrats “who opposed Biden as the nominee” on the call. She appears to be the most prominent Pennsylvania Democrat to suggest Biden might step aside as Democrats’ 2024 presumptive nominee, following his poor performance at the June 27 presidential debate and amid speculation that he is too old for the job.

“In a confidential conversation with other members of the House Democratic leadership, I expressed the same concerns that Americans across the country — and here in my district — are grappling with, about President Biden’s electability at the top of the ticket,” Wild said in a statement to the Capital-Star. “I expressed these concerns after spending multiple days talking with my constituents about the importance of this election, when reproductive rights, workers’ rights and democracy are all on the ballot.”

The call took place as Biden campaigned in Pennsylvania on Sunday, speaking at a church and campaign office in Philadelphia and at a union hall in Harrisburg. During the outdoor Harrisburg event, Biden shook hands and spoke with supporters for roughly 45 minutes after his brief remarks despite temperatures in the mid-90s.

Biden returns to Pennsylvania battleground for campaign events in Philadelphia and Harrisburg

Wild appeared with first lady Jill Biden in Allentown on July 2, and when asked by reporters at that point whether President Biden should step aside, Wild said “I’m not talking politics today.” She joined President Biden during a visit to the Lehigh Valley in January and praised “the important work the president’s done to reduce costs and invest in infrastructure, and of course prosecuting the case against Donald Trump on democracy and freedom.”

And in February, when special counsel Robert Hur’s report on Biden and how he handled classified documents referred to the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Wild told NBC News Biden was “very sharp, no memory issues, and his only stumbling is when he trips over words consistent with his lifelong speech impediment.”

Wild is seeking her fourth term in office, and has been a prolific fundraiser.

Spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Mike Marinella called Wild’s statement “an election-year ploy to try to cling to her seat.”

Wild said Sunday she would be “continuing to have these important conversations while keeping the best interests of my constituents at the forefront of every decision and statement I make.”

Most top Pennsylvania Democrats have expressed support for Biden remaining on the ticket. Gov. Josh Shapiro — who is often mentioned in speculation about who would replace Biden on the ticket — went on cable news shows the morning after the debate and said Democrats should “stop worrying and start working. US Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) said Friday on MSNBC that Democrats calling for Biden to drop out were betraying the president.

However, US Rep. Summer Lee (D-12th District) said on a radio show July 3 that Biden would need to show “that he’s up to the task,” if he decided to stay in the race.

Biden has said he does not plan to step aside. “Let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m staying in the race,” he told supporters in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday. “I’m not going to let one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work.”

This article was updated at 10:20 pm July 7, 2024 with a statement from the RNCC.