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Biden Drops Out of Presidential Race
By Jerry Hagstrom
Monday, July 22, 2024 11:07AM CDT

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- President Joe Biden announced Sunday that he will no longer seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2024.

Biden announced the decision in a letter posted to his X site. Biden said he believes it is in the best interest of the country for him to "stand down" and focus on his duties as president for the rest of his term.

The decision immediately raises the issue of whether the Democrats will name Vice President Kamala Harris as the nominee or engage in an open nomination process.

Biden praised Harris in his letter. He did not endorse her in the letter, but did so in a subsequent post, saying, "Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year."

Biden said he will speak to the American people at greater length later this week.

Republican presidential nominee former President Donald Trump reacted to Biden's withdrawal by criticizing the president on social platform Truth Social on Sunday: "Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve -- And never was! He only attained the position of President by lies, Fake News, and not leaving his Basement. All those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn't capable of being President, and he wasn't -- And now, look what he's done to our Country, with millions of people coming across our Border, totally unchecked and unvetted, many from prisons, mental institutions, and record numbers of terrorists. We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

VILSACK, STABENOW REACT TO BIDEN WITHDRAWAL

After President Biden announced he will not run for the Democratic nomination for president this year, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., both issued statements praising Biden's accomplishments.

"In the 38 years that I have known President Biden, he has consistently and selflessly put our country first -- and today is no exception," Vilsack said. "As a result, he will go down in history as one of our most consequential American presidents."

"He has led us out of the pandemic and revived our struggling economy to achieve record job growth, real wage increases, record-breaking new business creation, and a record stock market," Vilsack said.

"He avoided an economic collapse and is still taming inflation while creating millions of jobs, without causing a crippling recession. His leadership has led to a strengthened and expanded NATO while also supporting Ukraine's fight for democracy, and he forged alliances to push back against China's assertions.

"Finally, he brought to fruition a vision of a new and dynamic American economy built around clean energy and climate-smart and resilient industries, including the agriculture sector.

"I am immensely proud to play a role in the Biden-Harris administration, under which USDA has advanced food and nutrition security for tens of millions, invested in new, better and more markets to create a fairer and better marketplace for all farmers, improved the health and resilience of our national forests and grasslands, made our food safer, and centered equity in all that we do.

"This is an administration that embraces hope, optimism, and a forward-looking view for America -- and our work is not done," Vilsack said.

"President Joe Biden has done more for Michigan during his presidency than any other president in my lifetime," Stabenow said in a statement from her personal office in Lansing.

"In the past three-and-a-half years, we've fixed thousands of roads and bridges, boosted manufacturing, brought jobs home, lowered the cost of prescription drugs and seriously tackled the climate crisis.

"President Biden's long career of public service has truly improved the lives of Americans in so many important ways. His decision today is another courageous action in his long history of service to our country," Stabenow said.

HARRIS PLANS TO 'EARN AND WIN' NOMINATION FOR PRESIDENT

Vice President Harris issued the following statement Sunday from the Biden for President campaign after President Biden said he would not be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president:

"On behalf of the American people, I thank Joe Biden for his extraordinary leadership as president of the United States and for his decades of service to our country," Harris said.

"His remarkable legacy of accomplishment is unmatched in modern American history, surpassing the legacy of many presidents who have served two terms in office.

"It is a profound honor to serve as his vice president, and I am deeply grateful to the president, Dr. (Jill) Biden, and the entire Biden family.

"I first came to know President Biden through his son Beau. We were friends from our days working together as attorneys general of our home states. As we worked together, Beau would tell me stories about his Dad. The kind of father -- and the kind of man -- he was. And the qualities Beau revered in his father are the same qualities, the same values, I have seen every single day in Joe's leadership as president: His honesty and integrity. His big heart and commitment to his faith and his family. And his love of our country and the American people.

"With this selfless and patriotic act, President Biden is doing what he has done throughout his life of service: putting the American people and our country above everything else.

"I am honored to have the president's endorsement and my intention is to earn and win this nomination. Over the past year, I have traveled across the country, talking with Americans about the clear choice in this momentous election. And that is what I will continue to do in the days and weeks ahead. I will do everything in my power to unite the Democratic Party -- and unite our nation -- to defeat Donald Trump and his extreme Project 2025 agenda.

"We have 107 days until Election Day. Together, we will fight. And together, we will win."

In a fundraising appeal, Harris said, "I am running to be president of the United States."

"It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside our commander-in-chief, my friend, President Joe Biden -- one of the finest public servants we will ever know. And I am honored to have his support and endorsement.

"And I am eager to run on the record of what Joe and I have accomplished together. We built our country back after our predecessor left it in shambles -- making historic progress in reducing prescription drug costs, upgrading our nation's infrastructure, fighting climate change, and more. We are stronger today because we took action -- together -- to invest in America's future."

Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at jhagstrom@nationaljournal.com

Follow him on social platform X @hagstromreport


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