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A Top Dem. Senator Calls for "New Candidate" after Biden Debate Performance: 'Disaster

Former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who served with President Biden in Congress for over 20 years, is calling on Democrats to pressure the president into bowing out of the 2024 race following his widely panned debate performance.

Harkin told Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck following the debate that voter perception is that Trump is the candidate best "able to take command of a situation and control the outcome."

"Of course, Trump’s answers were meandering, gobbledygook, and full of lies, BUT they were said with force and directness," the 84-year-old Harkin said.

"I also think all incumbent Democratic Senators should write to Biden asking him to release his delegates and step aside so the convention can choose a new candidate," Harkin added. "A couple of Governors may need to do the same."'

Harkin Biden

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin share a laugh at the 36th Annual Harkin Steak Fry on September 15, 2013 in Indianola, Iowa. Sen. Harkin's Democratic fundraiser is one of the largest in Iowa each year.  (Steve Pope/Getty Images)

"Last night was a disaster from which Biden cannot recover," Harkin said.

The Iowa Democrat said that the president "has gone downhill since his State of the Union speech."

"Look how he walked and handled himself on the House floor even after the speech, and watch how he walks and uses his arms now," Harkin said. "Startling!"

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Harkin's comments come after Biden's performance in the CNN presidential debate on Thursday that immediately sparked calls from within the Democratic Party for Biden to drop out of the race over age concerns.

Other Democrats, including Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Whip James Clyburn have rallied behind the president saying his poor performance was due to "preparation overload." 


Biden and Trump at the debate

President of the United States Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump participate in the first Presidential Debate at CNN Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on June 27, 2024. (Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. 

"Folks, I know I’m not a young man," a Biden campaign ad following the debate said. "But I know how to do this job. I know right from wrong. I know how to tell the truth," 

"And I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up." 

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