President Joe Biden will campaign in Detroit again on Friday amid calls from some Michigan Democrats for him to bow out of the 2024 presidential contest following an abysmal debate last month.

On Monday, some of Biden’s critics from within the Democratic Party held a press conference in Detroit to highlight the president’s struggles in Michigan and how his stammering, incoherent performance at the June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump only made matters worse, Bridge Michigan reported.

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“The problem is, are we putting our best foot forward?” Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said at the Monday press conference.

Despite Biden’s late efforts to court Black voters in places like Milwaukee and Philadelphia following the debate, Evans contends Democrats aren’t trying hard enough to appeal to minority voters Biden desperately needs to return to the White House.

“One of the challenges that we’ve had is that folks for a presidential year just aren’t as excited as they ought to be,” he said. “Too often, that is because our politics seem to deliver a choice between bad or worse.”

“The apathy has been earned,” Evans said. “The low voting rate among African Americans is really sad … unfortunately, the politicians have earned it.”

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Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed offered a similar perspective, suggesting Biden is a “bad” choice.

“One of the challenges that we’ve had is that folks for a presidential year just aren’t as excited as they ought to be,” he said at the Monday event. “Too often, that is because our politics seem to deliver a choice between bad and worse.”

Other Michigan Democrats have explicitly called on Biden to drop out of the race following the debate.

State Rep. Phil Skaggs, D-East Grand Rapids, appealed to the president in a thread posted to X on Tuesday.

“Mr. President, I support you, I respect your honorable service, but the time has come to be that bridge to the future and pass the torch to a new generation of Americans,” he wrote.

“After decades of public service, the highest, final service President Biden can perform for the country is to announce he will end is (sic) run for reelection and release his delegates to the Democratic National Convention.”

Former Michigan Democratic Party chairman Lon Johnson made a similar plea on Facebook last week.

“President Biden should withdraw his candidacy for President and allow the party to find a new candidate,” Johnson posted. “It’s clear the President is suffering from cognitive decline, and the actions by him, his family, and staff since the debate have only reinforced that belief.”


More high profile Michigan Democrats have talked around the issue, or used coded language to suggest the same.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell told MSNBC Biden “has to show that he can do the job and he has to do that on a sustained basis.”

“It was a performance people were not expecting,” she said. “He does not have a lot of time … he’s got to talk to the American people.”

U.S. Rep. Hillary Scholten told The Detroit News she “was concerned about the president’s performance” at the debate, but has not explicitly called on the president to step aside.

“I have raise those concerns strongly with the Democratic Party,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Elisa Slotkin told Bridge Michigan on Monday she will “do all I can to help Democrats keep the White House” but ignored questions about whether she supports Biden specifically.

“No one feels good about the debate,” Slotkin said in a statement. “The president had a bad showing, as he’s acknowledged, while Donald Trump lied throughout the debate on serious, consequential issues.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, meanwhile, has taken a different approach, using an obvious analogy to say what many Democrats are thinking.

Nessel’s comments came in response to an X post from USA soccer player Alex Morgan about being left out of the roster for the Paris Olympics.

“I adore Alex Morgan. One of the greatest of all time,” Nessel posted to X. “But she’s aged significantly from her prime playing days & gracefully accepted that in order to win the gold it was time to pass the baton.”

Biden made it clear Monday, both in media interviews and a letter to House Democrats, that he has no plans to step aside.

“Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us,” Biden wrote to House Democrats. “It’s time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.”

“We had a democratic nominating process where the voters spoke clearly,” he told MSNBC. “I’m not going anywhere.”