Pelosi gives ambiguous response to Biden question and issues warning: "Time is running short"

Washington DC - Democratic heavyweight Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that time is running out for President Joe Biden to make a final decision on his reelection bid, but stressed the call was his to make.

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped short of saying President Joe Biden should be the Democratic Party's candidate in the 2024 election.
Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi stopped short of saying President Joe Biden should be the Democratic Party's candidate in the 2024 election.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

Despite Biden insisting he is staying in the race, Pelosi – the former speaker of the House of Representatives and an influential voice in the party – suggested the president still could step aside amid a Democratic divide over his candidacy.

"It's up to the president to decide if he is going to run," she told MSNBC. "We're all encouraging him to make that decision because the time is running short."

Pelosi stopped short of advocating either way on the Biden question.

Melania Trump noticeably absent at Day 1 of Republican National Convention
Melania Trump Melania Trump noticeably absent at Day 1 of Republican National Convention

"I want him to do whatever he decides to do, and that's the way it is," she said. "Whatever he decides, we go with."

Biden has corralled much-needed support from some top Democrats, but several lawmakers in the party have publicly expressed concerns about his mental fitness after his disastrous debate performance last month against Donald Trump.

Seven House Democrats have now openly called on Biden to not seek reelection. A handful of senators have also expressed concerns.

Late Tuesday, Colorado's Michael Bennet became the first Senate Democrat to publicly turn on the president, saying Biden would lose if he stayed on the ballot – and perhaps cause congressional Democrats to lose as well.

"Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide and take with it the Senate and the House," Bennet told CNN, adding he believes the White House "has done nothing" to demonstrate they have a plan to win in November.

Cover photo: SAUL LOEB / AFP

More on Joe Biden: