Republican Lawmakers Call for Biden to Resign or Be Removed

After President Joe Biden announced his withdrawal from the presidential race on Sunday, congressional Republicans called for him to resign the presidency or be removed by his cabinet under the 25th Amendment, citing concerns over his “health” and “cognitive ability.” Democrats pushed back.

For Context: The U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment, ratified in 1967, states that if the vice president and a majority of the president’s cabinet officers declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the vice president becomes the acting president.

Right Outlets Press the Case: Fox News (Right bias) and National Review (Lean Right) centered articles around a letter from Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) requesting that Vice President Kamala Harris invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Biden. Neither article included any quotes in defense of Biden finishing his term.

Left & Center Media Defend Biden: A headline from Axios (Lean Left) described Republicans as “piling on” Biden and predicted “any effort to force Biden from office would be an uphill fight.” Politico (Lean Left) centered its article on Democratic pushback to the criticisms, quoting Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) that the effort was “shameful baloney.” Reuters (Center) wrote that Republicans “have spent months vilifying Biden.”

What Amendment?: While headlines from the right said specifically that lawmakers called for a 25th Amendment removal, headlines from the left referred only to calls for Biden to “resign.” Washington Post (Lean Left) first mentioned the 25th Amendment in its 33rd paragraph.

Who Could Be Kamala Harris’ Running Mate?

While Vice President Kamala Harris has said she intends to “earn and win” the Democratic presidential nomination, widespread endorsements by Democratic Party leaders have spurred speculation about Harris’ potential running mate. 

For Context: Presidential candidates often pick running mates to “balance” their party’s ticket, and Democrats are looking to maximize their chances in key swing states. Former President Donald Trump selected Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) as his running mate at the RNC last week.

Democratic Governors: Several Democratic governors’ names have been floating, including Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore. All have endorsed Harris for president. 

Other Options: Some have suggested Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly, Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a formerly Democratic independent, has said he would not serve as Harris’ vice president. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was fairly similar across the spectrum on Monday, offering varying lists of Democratic governors plus Buttigieg or Kelly. Some coverage included sensationally descriptive language, like “speculation is soaring” from Fox News (Right bias) and “a shocking turn of events” from Time Magazine (Lean Left bias).

Secret Service Director to Congress: ‘We Failed’

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle told the House Oversight Committee that the organization tasked with protecting former President Donald Trump “failed” to prevent the assassination attempt against him. 

Key Quotes: “The assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump on July 13th is the most significant operational failure at the Secret Service in decades,” Cheatle said. However, she refused calls to resign, saying she was “the best person to lead the Secret Service at this time.” 

For Context: Lawmakers from both major parties have criticized Cheatle, whose hearing came after partisan rivals Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) issued a rare joint statement calling for her to testify. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage across the spectrum often sensationally framed the hearing as bad for Cheatle, saying lawmakers “grilled” and “skewered” her as she “stonewalled” them on details of the assassination attempt. While coverage was featured on news homepages regardless of bias rating, major right-rated outlets generally appeared to feature the story more prominently than left-rated outlets, which were instead more focused on the aftermath of President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 race.