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Media figures who urged Biden to drop out stay quiet on president’s ability to serve out current term

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President Biden is facing calls from prominent network figures, columnists and allies in the media to drop out of the race — but many have stopped short of asking the commander in chief to step down as president despite concerns about his age and mental acuity.

Liberal journalist Jonathan Alter echoed the sentiments of a bevy of media voices who soured on Biden’s candidacy following his widely panned debate performance, writing that the president is “too old to serve” and Democrats should hold an open convention.  

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Alter said, “I believe the Democrats need a different nominee in order to beat Donald Trump and save the republic from a dangerous man who is bent on destroying it.”

“Biden is too old to be the candidate and to be president until 2029 but he is not too old to serve out his term,” he added.


After the debate, the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd compared Biden to former President Trump and suggested the president was being selfish by remaining in the race.

“He’s putting himself ahead of the country. He’s surrounded by opportunistic enablers,” Dowd said. “He has created a reality distortion field where we’re told not to believe what we’ve plainly seen. His hubris is infuriating. He says he’s doing this for us, but he’s really doing it for himself.”

Dowd wrote that Biden has “clearly been declining” for the last couple of years and “looked ghostly” with a “trepidatious gait” at the debate. She also suggested that Biden did not just have an “off night” and called his blitz towards re-election an “extraordinarily risky bet.”

When asked if Biden was fit to perform his duties for the remainder of his term, Dowd referred Fox News Digital to her column and did not provide further comment.

Tom Friedman, a close friend of Biden’s, wrote Friday in a New York Times column that the president had no business running for re-election and called his debate performance “heartbreaking.”


Joe Biden at White House

“To give America the greatest shot possible of deterring the Trump threat in November, the president has to come forward and declare that he will not be running for re-election and is releasing all of his delegates for the Democratic National Convention,” he added.

He said Biden’s performance made him “weep.”

Fellow Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Paul Krugman also urged Biden to exit the stage. Like Friedman, they fawned over his presidency as a progressive success but said he should not run again.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who previously penned a column “President Biden should not run again in 2024,” reiterated his stance on the president Friday.

After proclaiming Biden a “very good president” in most ways, Ignatius wrote that Biden, with the “wisdom of his age,” has an opportunity to give the country a new beginning and step aside.

“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, who recently lambasted a Wall Street Journal article that suggested Biden’s mental acuity was “slipping,” declared his “love” for the president on Friday but admitted his debate performance calls into question whether he should run for re-election.


Biden replacements

“If he were CEO and he turned in a performance like that, would any corporation in America, any Fortune 500 corporation in America, keep him on as CEO?” the host said.

Later in the segment, frequent guest Donny Deutsch mournfully cast doubt on Biden’s ability to win in November.

“If the truth be told, I do not believe that Joe Biden, a great man, a hero — he’s 10 times the man Donald Trump is — I don’t believe he’s our best choice at this point,” he said.

Deutsch declined to comment for this story.

Even some of the president’s biggest supporters on ABC’s “The View” suggested it might be time for him to step aside after watching the debate.

Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former Trump administration official who has since become one of his staunchest critics, said Biden shocked her at the debate.

“I’ve had concerns for a couple of years about Biden’s age. It was stunningly worse than I expected, the performance,” Griffin said.

“He needs to put country before his own ambition and he needs to step aside and pass the baton,” Griffin added. “If it’s Trump versus Biden, Trump is gonna [win].”

Liberal columnist Jill Filipovic pushed First Lady Jill Biden to wield her influence and remove the president from the race.


Joe Biden in 2024 debate

The New Yorker’s David Remnick also deemed Biden’s debate performance to be troubling, suggesting that Biden was putting democracy at risk by staying in the race.

“To step aside and unleash the admittedly complicated process of locating and nominating a more robust and promising ticket seems the more rational course and would be an act of patriotism,” he said.

Remnick continued, “To refuse to do so, to go on contending that his good days are more plentiful than the bad, to ignore the inevitability of time and aging, doesn’t merely risk his legacy — it risks the election and, most important, puts in peril the very issues and principles that Biden has framed as central to his Presidency and essential to the future.”


Should Biden stay in office and get re-elected, he will be 86 at the end of his second term.

Friedman, Kristof, Krugman, Ignatius, Scarborough, Farah Griffin, Filipovic and Remnick did not return Fox News Digital’s requests for comment when asked if Biden could confidently serve out the rest of his current term. 

Fox News’ David Rutz and Hanna Panreck contributed to this report. 

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