Democratic congressman warns dissing Kamala as Biden replacement would be 'kiss of death' for Democratic Party


Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said if President Biden steps down, not choosing Vice President Kamala Harris as the new nominee would be “the kiss of death” for Democrats.

The first presidential debate sparked growing calls for Biden to drop out of the race to allow a new candidate to step in, and several candidates other than the vice president have been floated as potential replacements.

Thompson described Harris as being “incredibly strong” and suggested she is the only candidate Democrats can replace Biden with in 2024.

“You can’t say Biden has done a good job without saying she’s done a good job,” Thompson told Axios, adding that choosing a candidate other than Harris “would be the kiss of death for the party.”

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Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris was accused of “pandering” in a widely mocked appearance during the Black Entertainment Television Awards Sunday night. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Amid calls to replace Biden on the 2024 ticket, many Democrats have voiced support for Harris if a new nominee is chosen.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., recently said he would support Harris if Biden drops out.

“We should do everything we can to bolster her, whether it’s in second place or the top of the ticket,” Clyburn told MSNBC during the Biden debate backlash.

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“I will support her if he were to step aside,” Clyburn said. “But I’m going to support her going forward and sometime in the future. I want this ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris. And then we will see what happens after the next election.”

Bennie Thompson in hearing

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., before a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, “Havoc in the Heartland: How Secretary Mayorkas’ Failed Leadership Has Impacted the States,” at the Capitol Jan. 10, 2024, in Washington, D.C.  (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., a member of the progressive “Squad,” said Harris is the “obvious” replacement for Biden. 

“If our president decides this is not a pathway forward for him, we have to move very quickly. There’s not going to be time for a primary. That time is past,” Lee told “Mornings with Zerlina” Wednesday. “The vice president is the obvious choice. She’s sitting right there.”

joe biden on the debate stage

President Biden stands at his podium during the first presidential debate of the 2024 election season against former President Trump at CNN’s studios in Atlanta June 27, 2024. (Kevin D. Liles for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On the short list of other potential Biden replacements are California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

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Amid speculation over who would be the best fit to replace Biden on the 2024 ticket, a new CNN poll found Harris performed better than Biden in a hypothetical matchup against Trump. 



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