AOC breaks her silence on whether she backs Joe Biden

AOC breaks her silence on whether she backs Joe Biden AOC breaks her silence on whether she backs Joe Biden

Progressive Squad leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez broke her silence on whether Joe Biden should run again in 2024.

After Biden's disastrous debate performance against former President Donald Trump on June 27, questions have swirled over the 81-year-old's physical and mental health - and whether he should withdraw from the race.

So far, only a small cohort of Democrat lawmakers have called on the president to withdraw from the race while many more have thrown their support behind Biden.

The Squad leader confirmed Monday she is on board with the president's leadership.

'I have spoken with [Biden] extensively,' AOC revealed. 'The matter is closed. Joe Biden is our nominee.'

AOC said she spoke to Biden over the weekend and he made clear to her that he is not withdrawing from the race.

'He made clear then and he has made clear since that he is in this race,' she continued.

'He is in this race and I support him,' the Squad leader said.

The full-throated endorsement from the most popular progressive lawmaker comes at a crucial time as Democrats come out against the president's reelection campaign.

AOC's support of Biden was mirrored by House Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who said she is also, as of now, backing Joe.

'I think it's important that we make sure that our nominee is the strongest, and right now Biden is our nominee.'

'So until that changes, I think it's better that we have these conversations in private,' she continued.

Though, her outlook on post-debate Biden was not all rosy.

'I think it would be hard not to be concerned,' she added. 'I think that was not a good debate performance.'

'And I think it was very difficult for all of us to watch.'

The first elected Democrat to break ranks with Biden was Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett.

On July 2, five days after Biden's disastrous CNN debate performance, Doggett released a statement calling on the president to withdraw from the race.

Doggett, a veteran Democrat who has served since 1995, wrote how Biden pledged to be a 'transitional' candidate, saying that the president has fulfilled his promise and should end his bid.

A day later on July 3, Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona told the New York Times he too believes Joe Biden should drop out of the race.

'If he's the candidate, I'm going to support him, but I think that this is an opportunity to look elsewhere,' Grijalva said.

A number of other influential lawmakers also expressed their concerns over Biden's ability in a Sunday call between members of Congress.

Democrat Reps. Mark Takano of California, Jerry Nadler and Joe Morelle of New York, and Adam Smith of Washington all expressed on the conference how they want to see Biden step aside.

On Monday, Smith - the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee - said publicly on CNN he wants Biden to drop out of the race.

'We've got a good message,' Smith said of Democrats' political positioning.

'The president has shown he is not capable of delivering that message in an effective way,' he added, saying there were concerns leading up to the debate.

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