Democrats hold Biden campaign rallies after Trump debate

President Joe Biden returns to the White House, July 7, 2024.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey on Tuesday became the latest Democratic lawmaker to publicly call on President Joe Biden to abandon his re-election campaign and let a new nominee take on former President Donald Trump.

“When I think about my four children and all the rights that a new Trump presidency would jeopardize, and in light of the recent Supreme Court decision giving the President of the United States excessive power, the stakes are too high — and the threat too real — to remain silent,” Sherrill said in a statement.

“And because I know President Biden has deep concerns about the future of our country, I am asking him to declare that he will not seek re-election and to assist us in the process of finding a new nominee,” she said.

Sherrill is the seventh Democrat in the House of Representatives to openly call for Biden's withdrawal and the ninth overall, according to NBC News count.

Her statement came hours after House Democrats gathered at the party's national headquarters in Washington for a crucial caucus meeting as members debated whether to continue supporting Biden's campaign or replace him.

Lawmakers did not have access to their phones during the closed-door meeting. It was the first time the full caucus had met since Biden’s disastrous debate against Trump in June, which caused a full-blown campaign crisis.

Many members refused to answer reporters' questions as they slowly left the building after the meeting on Tuesday morning.

“I promised I wouldn't talk at all about what was said,” Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., told NBC News as he left.

When a reporter asked Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) if Democrats were on the same page, Cohen replied, “No… we're not even in the same book.”

Cohen also told an Axios reporter that some members in the caucus meeting said Biden should recuse himself. A spokesperson for Cohen did not respond to CNBC's request to confirm that comment.

Senate Democrats held their own meeting on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon.

Biden’s weak, raspy debate performance sent Democrats into a frenzy, prompting some top donors, pundits and allies to openly urge Biden, 81, to drop his candidacy for another four years in office.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., who also called on Biden to withdraw, said Tuesday he now supports the incumbent.

“I fully support him. I plan to campaign for him. And it is essential that he wins,” Nadler said.

But Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.) expressed deep reservations about Biden's continued candidacy.

“Since the debate, I have met with fellow Biden voters in Massachusetts who are genuinely concerned about the president’s ability to defeat Donald Trump. I share those concerns,” Trahan, the co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, told NBC in a statement Tuesday.

“While President Biden has made it clear that he believes he is the best candidate to win this election, nothing that has happened over the past 12 days suggests that voters see things the same way,” Trahan said.

“A second Trump presidency will do irreparable damage to women and to our country, and President Biden must act urgently to restore Americans’ trust so we win in November.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., leaves a House Democratic caucus meeting to discuss President Joe Biden's nomination at the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday, July 9, 2024.

Brian Cassella | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

Overall, however, only a few Democratic lawmakers have openly called for a change at the top of the ticket — a hugely risky move less than four months before Election Day.

Biden has rejected calls to step aside, saying he remains the best person to challenge Trump in the presidential election. Since the debate, he has worked to shore up support among key blocs, including the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

“I stand with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and we will continue the work that needs to be done,” Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said on MSNBC after the caucus meeting Tuesday morning.

Barragan described the meeting as a “family conversation to hear from our colleagues,” but added: “Those are private conversations.”

Democratic leaders have issued terse statements of support for the Biden-Harris nomination.

Read more about CNBC's political coverage

“I made it clear publicly the day after the debate that I support President Joe Biden and the Democratic ticket. My position has not changed,” Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader in the New York House of Representatives, told reporters Monday night.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has said he supports Biden.

Outside the Democratic National Committee building, a handful of protesters dressed in sunglasses and suits held signs with capital letters asking, “Is Joe Biden Fit for Office?!”

The protesters said they were from the National Republican Campaign Committee, Politico reported.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the state that Rep. Jerry Nadler represents. He represents New York.

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