A new CNN poll found 75 percent of Democratic voters do not want President Joe Biden at the top of their party’s ticket in 2024. That number echoes the latest Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, with just 31 percent of the state’s Democrats supporting another Biden bid.
So, how does one of the state’s top Democrats, Rep. Chris Pappas, feel about it?
Asked by Drew Cline on WFEA radio Thursday morning if he supports Joe Biden being the nominee going forward, Pappas declined to answer. He also offered a less-than-enthusiastic review of the president’s performance in office.
Rep. Chris Pappas on WFEA Radio with Drew Cline
“Well, I think we’re a long way from 2024,” Pappas said. “I’m focused on my own reelection campaign in 2022. And I think the president has a lot on his plate. There are a lot of challenges, domestically and internationally. I don’t think [Biden] should be thinking about the next campaign until he is realizing some progress on the major issues of the day, including — and especially — driving down costs and addressing inflation.”
“I’m focused on our work,” Pappas added. “The president should be on his, too.”
Pappas has been identified by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a “frontline” candidate — a seat that is at risk in November’s midterm. Rep. Annie Kuster also has declined to say if she supports another Biden term. The bipartisan Cook Political Report rates both seats as toss-ups.
And it’s not just Biden 2024. Democrats are declining to endorse Biden’s ability to do the job today.
Neither Kuster nor Pappas would respond to more than a dozen requests for comment regarding an NHJournal poll finding most Granite Staters don’t believe Biden is physically and mentally up to the job. In a recent NYTimes/Siena College poll, one-third of Democrats who want someone else to be the nominee cite Biden’s age and mental acuity. It has been a repeated topic of news coverage from liberal news outlets like the Times and CNN, and many Democrats have publicly acknowledged their concerns about Biden’s age.
The five Republicans vying in the First District primary to challenge him were quick to react to Pappas’s comments.
“Chris Pappas may be fleeing from the Biden freefall now, but his voting record shows that he was 100 percent committed to the Biden agenda from the very start and continues to support his inflationary spending,” said Matt Mowers.
“Actions speak louder than words,” said Rep. Tim Baxter (R-Seabrook). “Chris Papas votes with Joe Biden 100 percent of the time. He can’t now try to put distance between himself and an administration he votes in lockstep with. The voters are smarter than that. We are in a recession, inflation is hurting Granite Staters, and Chris Pappas is to blame. It’s that simple.”
Gail Huff Brown expressed her exasperation with the congressman.
“I have a question for Chris Pappas: are you kidding me? Chris Pappas has been more focused on enabling Joe Biden’s reckless agenda that has landed us in a recession than he has on representing us in New Hampshire. I suggest Chris Pappas follow his own advice: focus less on the next campaign and work on making progress on key issues affecting Granite Staters such as the recession, inflation, the fentanyl crisis, and the sky-high cost of goods, electricity, and home heating oil.”
“Telling Joe Biden to address inflation while simultaneously voting for billion-dollar useless packages is the definition of hypocrisy,” said Karoline Leavitt. “In true career politician fashion, Pelosi’s Puppet Pappas says one thing and does another. We desperately need a Representative who stands up for what is right, without fear of their party, and that’s why I am running to replace Pappas in November.”
And former Executive Councilor Russell Prescott added, “Chris Pappas is trying to distance himself from supporting Joe Biden 100% of the time. This has caused every Granite Stater to suffer the consequences of historic inflation, record-high gas prices, and an official recession,”
Meanwhile, a group of 54 House Republicans, led by former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), sent a letter to the White House calling on Biden to take a cognitive abilities test.
The White House dismissed the letter as a stunt.