Rep. Mike Quigley Says ‘It Wasn’t Just A Horrible Night’ For Joe Biden

A senior House Democrat said Tuesday morning that President Joe Biden’s bad debate performance last week wasn’t an aberration.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) said Biden “has to be honest with himself” and warned that his decision to run for reelection could hurt Democrats down the ballot.

“We have to be honest with ourselves that it wasn’t just a horrible night,” Quigley told Kasie Hunt on CNN.

It’s a notable comment because other top Democrats, such as House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), have suggested Biden’s shaky performance was just a bad night and that they still backed the president.

Quigley stressed that he wasn’t calling on Biden to step down despite his suggestion that the president is slipping.

“I won’t go beyond that, out of my respect and understanding of President Joe Biden, the very proud person who has served us extraordinarily well for 50 years,” Quigley said. “I just want him to appreciate at this time just how much it impacts not just his race, but all the other races coming in November.”

While elected Democrats have mostly closed ranks around Biden, Quigley’s not the only one to sound more alarmed by the situation. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Sunday that there were “serious and rigorous conversations taking place” within the party and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said he was “horrified” by Biden’s performance.

Biden seemed to lose his train of thought at times during the debate. In response to a question about the national debt, for example, he stumbled over his words and paused before blurting out, “We finally beat Medicare.”

On CNN, Hunt asked Quigley if bad polls post-debate could convince Biden that he has to step aside for the good of the party, and Quigley agreed, saying it could take a few weeks for the numbers to reflect the full damage of Biden’s debate performance.

“I do think that’s probably the only thing out there right now that could change his mind or influence that critical decision that, again, only he can make,” Quigley said, an apparent reference to reports that Biden’s family members have urged him to remain in the race.

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