Psaki says replacing Biden at convention could get 'very messy'

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Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Sunday said replacing President Biden at the Democratic National Convention could come with major risks and sew division within the party.

During her MSNBC show, “Inside with Jen Psaki,” she said, “Those of you out there who have hopes of Joe Biden stepping aside so that there can be a brokered convention should know that isn’t exactly an easy road either.”

“First of all, it would have a seismic impact on the Democratic Party if the president stayed neutral and did not endorse his own vice president,” Psaki said. “It would also mean a couple of thousand party insiders would be empowered to make a choice on the nominee, not the millions of Democratic primary ballots who already cast their ballots.”

Biden’s lackluster debate performance last week raised alarm bells for some within the Democratic Party over his ability to beat former President Trump in November and lead the nation for another four years.

Some Democrats have called on Biden to step down following his disastrous showing at the debate, though no national officials have publicly joined these calls yet.

Biden has already won the primary and thus cannot be overthrown at the convention, meaning the decision is ultimately up to him.

Should he step aside, Psaki argued a “talented … but largely untested candidate with potentially low name identification” might be thrust into the national spotlight and asked to shore up enough support in two months to defeat Trump.

“It would all be very messy and potentially very divisive,” Psaki said. “But right now, it still feels very unlikely,” given first lady Jill Biden, Democratic leaders in Congress and former President Obama are all standing behind him.

White House and Biden campaign officials have in recent days sought to shut down any notion that the president will step aside or drop out of the race. His campaign in an email on Saturday night mocked the “bedwetting brigade” suggesting he should step aside.

As of now, Biden is the only candidate for whom those attending the Democratic convention can even vote for, after he received 99 percent of his party’s delegates in the primaries.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) rules require delegates that Biden won to pledge their support for his nomination unless Biden were to willingly decide to stand down. Before the convention opens on Aug. 19, the DNC could change the rules to block Biden, but that is highly unlikely given current party dynamics.

Names of potential replacements have included Vice President Harris, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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