Business leaders, pro-democracy activists send letters to Biden calling for resignation.

A prominent group of political donors, civic leaders and business executives set up to protect the institutions of American democracy sent a letter to President Biden on Friday morning asking him to “strengthen his legacy” by ending his re-election bid. It was demanded.

“We respectfully request that you withdraw from running for re-election for the sake of our democracy and the future of our nation,” the 168 signatories wrote on the private letter, to top White House officials. After its delivery, signatures continued to be received.

The letter was organized by the Leadership Now Project, which was established in 2018 in response to growing concerns about threats to democratic principles. It was passed on to several White House advisers, said a person familiar with the effort, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private communications.

Among the signatories is Christy Walton, the billionaire daughter-in-law of Walmart’s founder. retired NFL Commissioner Paul J. Taglebio; billionaire investor Mike Novogratz; former Google executive Ning Mossberger Tang; Harsha Marti, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus; Professor Lawrence Lessig of Harvard Law School; New York University professor and podcaster Scott Galloway; Tom Florsheim, CEO of Waco Group; Former Army Secretary Luis Caldera and hedge fund investor Kevin Brennan of Bridgewater Associates. Vicki Hausman, CEO of Forward Majority, a group that supports Democrats in state legislative elections, also signed on.

Voters’ concerns about President Biden’s age have been around since 2019. The result of his poor debate performance has made him an inflection point for his re-election bid. (Video: JM Rieger, Adriana Usero/The Washington Post, Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

Daniela Ballou-Arres, CEO of the Leadership Now Project, who worked in the Obama administration, declined to comment on the letter on Friday. The group had previously released an unsigned statement on Wednesday calling for Biden to step down.

“Our first concern is the threat that former President [Donald] Trump poses a threat to the economy, national security and the threat he poses to the rule of law,” Ballou-Arres said in an appearance on CNN on Thursday. “We are also in discussions with members of the House and Senate. and are voicing their concerns.”

She said that if Biden remains the nominee, she expects all members of the group to continue to support him against Trump. He also said Biden is now more likely to lose than win if he remains the nominee.

The White House referred a request for comment to the Biden campaign, which responded with a statement about the president’s accomplishments and Trump’s unfitness for office.

“With economists warning that Trump will supercharge inflation and send us into recession, while President Biden’s agenda will continue to cut costs and increase jobs, whoever wants America to succeed For him, the choice of this election could not be clearer,” said Charles Lutwak, a Biden campaign spokesman.

In a letter the group issued Friday, it praised Biden for decades of public service.

“As members of the Leadership Now Project, and like-minded business and civic leaders committed to protecting American democracy, we are speaking out about the threats to Donald Trump’s second term,” the letter said. The risks to America are profound: global and domestic instability, the abandonment of allies, crony capitalism, political retaliation, and the further erosion of the rights of women and other groups.

“At this pivotal moment for our nation, it is time to carry the torch forward and strengthen our legacy – as George Washington did,” the letter added.

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