Join Fox News for access to this content
Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account - free of charge.
By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.
Please enter a valid email address.
By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News' Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

Prominent Democrats being floated as replacements for President Biden as their party's nominee are defending his candidacy despite other members of the party calling on him to step down.

Biden is facing calls from nearly a dozen Democratic lawmakers to step down as the 2024 nominee following his damaging performance at the first presidential debate.

While many Democrats are voicing concerns over his ability to serve, several lawmakers being named as potential Biden replacements should he step down are amplifying their support for the president.

Democrats Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky, Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg have all shown support for Biden's re-election efforts since being named as potential candidates to replace Biden.


"@JoeBiden is in it to win it, and I’m damn proud to support him," Whitmer wrote in a post on X Wednesday.

Biden et al

(L-R) President of the United Auto Workers Ray Curry, President Biden, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow arrive to tour the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit Sept, 14, 2022. (Mandel Ngan)

Whitmer defended the president several times after the debate and most recently suggested on CNN that it wouldn't hurt for Biden to take a cognitive test to address concerns about his mental competency.


Newsom hit the campaign trial for Biden after the debate, telling voters the president has the energy to serve another term as president.

"I was asked and tasked by President Biden, proudly, to fly from California to Georgia to represent the campaign right after that debate," Newsom recently told supporters at a Van Buren Dems BBQ for Biden-Harris in Michigan. 

Newsom joined 20 Democratic governors in a private meeting with Biden at the White House just days after the debate, which he claims eased concerns over the president's fitness.

Newsom campaigns on lawn with Biden flags

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks with supporters during a stop July 4, 2024, at the Van Buren County Democratic Party Fourth of July reception in South Haven, Mich.  (Don Campbell/The Herald-Palladium)

"It could have gone two or three hours," Newsom said of the meeting. "And I mean this with absolute conviction. That was the Joe Biden I remember from two weeks ago. That was the Joe Biden that I remember from two years ago. That's the Joe Biden that I'm looking forward to re-electing as president of the United States."

Pritzker also voiced support for Biden this week amid growing backlash over the debate.

"I’m not engaging in hypotheticals. You can see that I’m all in for Joe Biden," he said. "Joe Biden is going to be the nominee of the Democratic Party. I’m gonna go out there and wholeheartedly campaign for him."

Pritzker added that Biden is "of course" physically and mentally fit to serve. 

Tina Smith and J.B. pritzker

Sen Tina Smith, D-Minn., and J.B. Pritzker, governor of Illinois, during a news conference hosted by Biden-Harris 2024 National Advisory Board members in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 15, 2024. (Rachel Mummey)

Beshear told reporters that while the president did not perform well at the debate, he is still supporting his re-election bid.

"The debate performance was rough. It was a very bad night for the president, but he is still the candidate. Only he can make decisions about his future candidacy. So, as long as he continues to be in the race, I support him," Beshear said.

Buttigieg told Spectrum News in an interview after the debate that, despite any concerns, Biden remains a "focused and disciplined leader."

Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro at the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony during Wawa Welcome America July 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Gov. Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, another candidate mentioned as a potential replacement for Biden, played a slightly different tune and suggested Biden needs to make his case to the American people that he can win in November.

"The president has a responsibility to reassure the good people of Pennsylvania and the people of this country that he can defeat Donald Trump," Shapiro told Axios in a statement.

Vice President Kamala Harris is considered the top candidate to step in and replace Biden should he be replaced as the nominee.


Despite growing calls to drop out of the race, Biden has made several public declarations that he will not step aside.