Healey says Biden should ‘carefully evaluate’ his odds of beating Trump; Moulton latest to urge him to step aside

Healey says Biden should ‘carefully evaluate’ his odds of beating Trump; Moulton latest to urge him to step aside

Local News

President Biden is under increasing pressure from notable Democrats to step down and let a younger candidate run.

President Biden greets Mass. Gov. Maura Healey after arriving in Boston in May. Alex Brandon/AP

As President Biden attempts to right the ship of his reelection campaign after a disastrous debate performance last week, pressure is mounting from some prominent Massachusetts politicians for him to step aside. 

This week, Mass. Gov. Maura Healey reportedly offered a brutally frank assessment of Biden’s chances of returning to the White House for another four years. 

During a call with her fellow Democratic governors Monday, Healey said that she had told Biden’s Chief of Staff Jeff Zients that the president’s political position was “irretrievable,” The New York Times reported. A source familiar with the conversation also confirmed Healey’s comments to The Boston Globe.

On Friday, Healey issued a statement to the Globe clarifying her position.

“President Biden saved our democracy in 2020 and has done an outstanding job over the last four years. I am deeply grateful for his leadership. And I know he agrees this is the most important election of our lifetimes,” she said. “The best way forward right now is a decision for the President to make. Over the coming days, I urge him to listen to the American people and carefully evaluate whether he remains our best hope to defeat Donald Trump.”

Healey, who burnished her reputation in the Democratic party by suing the Trump administration nearly 100 times while she was Attorney General, has been a prominent surrogate for Biden in 2024. 

“Whatever President Biden decides, I am committed to doing everything in my power to defeat Donald Trump,” Healey said in the statement.

Attempting to assuage the fears of Democratic governors, Biden held a meeting at the White House Wednesday that Healey attended. She did not speak during that meeting, according to the Times. Biden reportedly told the governors that he needed to get more sleep and work fewer hours, but was not planning on ending his candidacy. 


At a press conference after the meeting, the governors publicly rallied around Biden and re-emphasized their support of his campaign. But multiple governors were disappointed that there was little conversation during the meeting about whether Biden should continue his candidacy, the Times reported. That topic was discussed at length during the Monday call among the governors. None of them directly told the president that he should drop out during Wednesday’s meeting. 

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton went on the record in calling for Biden to cede the spotlight. The representative for Massachusetts’ 6th District became the third sitting member of Congress to urge Biden to step aside, and the first from the Mass. delegation. Moulton told WBUR that his decision to speak out came after being contacted by scores of Democrats worried about Biden’s chances against Trump in November. 

“President Biden has done enormous service to our country, but now is the time for him to follow in one of our founding father, George Washington’s footsteps and step aside to let new leaders rise up and run against Donald Trump,” Moulton said in an interview with WBUR.

Healey’s reported assessment of Biden’s campaign and Moulton’s comments reflect a crisis reverberating through the entire Democratic establishment. Wealthy donors are working together to prepare for the potential of a new candidate stepping in. Some, like Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, have gone public with their desire to see a new person atop the ticket. 

Significant support has coalesced around Vice President Kamala Harris. She would be the top alternative in the event that Biden drops out, senior sources at the Biden campaign, the White House and the Democratic National Committee told Reuters. A recent CNN poll found that a Harris-Trump matchup would be a toss up, with Harris having a better chance at defeating Trump than Biden. 

When asked about what should happen if Biden were to step down, Moulton did not commit to one particular approach in his interview with WBUR. He left the door open to a truncated primary process as well as the possibility that the nomination would go directly to Harris.

Elected officials are calling for President Joe Biden to drop his reelection bid. Do you agree?

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