Sen. Klobuchar says 'the next week is critical' for President Biden

Senator Amy Klobuchar says the next week is "critical" for President Joe Biden to prove to the American people he can win the election.

Sen. Klobuchar's team sent the statement to FOX 9 when asked for comment on Rep. Angie Craig's recent calls for President Biden to drop his re-election bid.

Biden has faced a wave of criticism since his debate with Donald Trump on June 27, with some questioning whether the president is fit for another four-year term.

"The worry among elected democrats is that Joe Biden’s horrible debate performance is now going to make it harder for other democrats to run and win," University of Minnesota political science professor and researcher Larry Jacobs told FOX 9 on Monday.

Over the weekend, Rep. Angie Craig joined a group of House Democrats in calling on Biden to step aside. Craig said: "Given what I saw and heard from the president during last week's debate in Atlanta, coupled with the lack of a forceful response from the president himself following that debate, I do not believe that the president can effectively campaign and win against Donald Trump."

"I’m sure she weighed the politics of it. Calling for Biden to step down in her district, which is competitive and has lots of independents, is a smart move," Jacobs said. "Behind closed doors I have a suspicion that a number of Minnesota’s high ranking elected democrats share her concerns and are very worried about Donald Trump at the top of the ticket."

When asked on Monday to comment on Rep. Craig's statement, a spokesperson for Sen. Klobuchar shared this statement from the senator: "The stakes couldn't be higher. Our very democracy hangs in the balance. The next week is critical and this is the moment the President must demonstrate to the American people that he can win." 

It should be noted that Sen. Klobuchar's name has regularly been mentioned on the list of possible replacements for President Biden – if he were to drop out of the race. Klobuchar ran against Biden in the 2020 primary before dropping out just before Super Tuesday and throwing her support behind Biden's bid.

DFL chair Ken Martin is also speaking out:  "Minnesotans recognize the stakes in this election and know that Donald Trump’s reckless policies and dangerous rhetoric threaten the progress we've made here. A Republican presidential candidate has not won Minnesota in over 50 years and President Biden will continue that streak by winning in November. Donald Trump has lost Minnesota twice and, the third time won’t be the charm."

President Biden has been adamant that he will remain in the race. While admitting the debate went poorly, Biden's team has blamed the performance on a cold and jet lag.

"I'm not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I'm staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump," said Biden during a rally in Wisconsin over the weekend.

In a letter on Monday to House Democrats, Biden again made it clear that he has no plans to leave the race.

Last week, Governor Walz announced the president had his backing after a meeting between Democratic governors and President Biden. He also found support on Monday from Rep. Ilhan Omar who released the following statement: "I am standing with President Biden and Vice President Harris. I remain committed to helping the president be successful in November and defeat Donald Trump to ensure this criminal will never hold office again."

FOX 9 requested interviews with Rep. Craig, Rep. Dean Phillips, and Senator Tina Smith. Craig declined an interview, Smith’s office said it had nothing to share, and Phillips did not respond.