Rep. Pat Ryan: 'Biden is no longer the strongest candidate to beat Trump'

Rep. Pat Ryan, of the 18th District, outlined his concerns in an article Wednesday.

Jonathan Gordon

Jul 10, 2024, 6:57 PM

Updated 10 days ago

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In his first TV interview since calling on the Democratic Party to unify around another candidate, Hudson Valley Rep. Pat Ryan explained his thinking to News 12's Tara Rosenblum.
"Joe Biden is a patriot and a person of integrity, but we have to be clear-eyes in my view he's no longer the strongest candidate to beat Trump," Ryan said.
Ryan, in his first full term in office, is facing a competitive race in November and said the politics of New York's 18th Congressional District played a major role in his decision.
"I really thought about this from the conversations I had with constituents more than anything," he said. "That's my foundational responsibility."
His opponent in November, Alison Esposito blasted Ryan in a statement on Wednesday: "Pat Ryan could have raised alarms years ago when Joe Biden's mental acuity was first put in question. Once again, Pat Ryan refuses to lead from the front. Leadership is acting regardless of the direction of political headwinds. Pat Ryan only makes decisions that are politically expedient for him. Where was he two weeks ago, when the whole world watched President Biden's poor debate performance? He was SILENT.
"The American people can see clearly what Joe Biden is, a mere figurehead for the Democrats' political agenda. Now the façade and the smoke and mirrors are falling away, and Ryan and other Democrats are running for cover. It doesn't matter who they put at the top of the ticket, it's going to be the same failed policies that put the American people last. Pat, if Joe Biden is not fit to serve as the nominee, do you think he is fit to serve as President through January?
"On November 5th, the voters will see through Ryan's lies and vote against Ryan and whoever the Democrat Nominee for President is."
Ryan responded: "My opponent and every Republican across the country is now in lockstep behind Trump and we know what he's already done to divide and harm our country and what even more egregiously he said he will do going forward."
Ryan said his decision was difficult but an important one to make. He said it shows the Democratic Party is willing to listen to voters concerned about Biden's ability to beat former president and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. He added that it's far more than Republicans are willing to do about their candidate.
When pressed, Ryan said his top three choices to take over the top of the ticket would be Vice President Kamala Harris, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore and Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro.
"The American people have great choices that could prosecute the case against a convicted felon who tried to overturn the election, who wants a national abortion ban, who wants to gut social security, who wants to give more tax breaks to big corporations and billionaires," Ryan said.
Biden's first solo press conference in eight months is his latest attempt to quiet the growing calls for him to end his campaign. Ryan said it doesn't matter what the President says or how he performs.
"The president has been historic in a positive way in terms of what he's accomplished, his integrity, his selflessness and so, I wouldn't have said what I said if I didn't believe that to be the best course," Ryan said.
Biden has argued that he had a bad night on the debate stage in Atlanta and that it wasn’t representative of his mental acuity. The President has repeatedly refused to end his campaign.


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