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Mississippi party leaders chime in on...

Mississippi party leaders chime in on calls for Biden to step aside

By: Jeremy Pittari - July 9, 2024

  • With growing national division over President Joe Biden’s fitness to serve another four years, Mississippi Democratic Party leaders are rallying to support his bid for re-election. Meanwhile, state Republican leaders question both Biden’s ability to serve and his record.

President Joe Biden had what he called “a bad night” during the first presidential debate with his Republican rival, Donald Trump. In the aftermath, there have been calls from within the President’s own party for Biden to step aside.

As of Sunday, almost a dozen congressional Democrats have urged Biden to withdraw from the race.

Biden has resisted those calls, telling MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough during a live call-in on Monday that he’s “not going anywhere.” Despite the national rancor over Biden’s continued candidacy, Mississippi Democratic Party leaders are rallying to the President.

“This is not time to look for an alternate,” said Mississippi’s Democratic Party Chair Cheikh Taylor. “This is a time to dig down and make sure we have the right person in office and that is Joe Biden.”

Biden, at 81, is already the nation’s oldest serving president in history. He would be 86 upon the completion of a second term. Trump is not too far behind at 78. Either candidate would be the older person ever elected to the presidency if successful.

Taylor said he will support Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the Democratic National Convention set for August. Representative Zakiya Summers (D), who also serves as Treasurer of the Mississippi Democratic Party, plans to do the same.

“President Biden is our nominee and I’m looking forward to casting my vote for him in Chicago,” Summers told Magnolia Tribune. “All of these detractors need to cut it out and stop feeding into this narrative of him stepping down. It only serves as a distraction. The Mississippi Democratic Party is united and stands with President Biden.”

Republican Party leaders in Mississippi, including Governor Tate Reeves, don’t share their counterparts faith in Biden’s ability to serve another four years.

Reeves told Magnolia Tribune in a statement, “it’s clear that President Biden is no longer physically or mentally capable of being the most powerful person in the world. I’d tell him to step down now for the good of the country, but a Harris Administration would be an even bigger disaster.”

“President Trump is going to take back the White House in November regardless of who the Democrats put up. Republican governors have his back, and we look forward to helping him Make America Great Again,” Reeves said.

But state Democrats argue Trump is not a better option than Biden.

“We’re talking about a person whose opponent has 34 felonies that just seems to have gone unnoticed by the Republican Party,” Taylor elaborated. “We are also talking about the faith and soul of this country. I think that people need to be mature voters, and people have to look at the issues and policies that have been put out, more so than personal nuances.” 

“If you look at the side by side snapshot” between Biden and Trump “there is no question,” Taylor says. “Our economy has responded very well, crime is down across the nation and we have a president who is fit to lead us for the next four years.”

Mike Hurst, Chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party pushed back on both Biden’s fitness for office and his record. Hurst told Magnolia Tribune that Biden’s administration has done nothing but run the country into the ground for the past three and a half years. He’s also concerned if Biden does choose to step aside. 

“If he is replaced, the talk is it would be Kamala Harris, and unfortunately for us as Americans, she would be no better than Biden and would only continue his terrible, disastrous policies,” Hurst stated.

Hurst also expressed concern about the lack of coverage concerning Biden’s mental fitness prior to the debate.

“I think the American people should be upset. Not only with this White House and the Democratic party, but also the media, who are refusing to report on his mental health and for gaslighting anyone who questioned his mental acuity.” Hurst added. “It has put us as citizens at risk, having someone completely asleep at the wheel of our country.”

To Hurst, those risks go further than this nation’s boundaries; he is also concerned about Biden’s impact on national security on the world stage. 

“You have to image that every enemy in this world who wants to do evil to us as a country are salivating that this man, who is not there in his mind, would be reelected for four more years,” Hurst said. “We can’t allow that to happen. I think right now the Republicans and Donald Trump have the momentum going into the November 5th election.”

Another debate is set for Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. Central. It will be hosted by ABC News.

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics. Email Jeremy: jeremy@magnoliatribune.com