President Joe Biden is having a rough go of it in the polls. Earlier this week, a Wall Street Journal poll of all registered voters found that nearly 75 percent believe the incumbent president is “too old” to seek re-election.
But that’s not all. Several CNN anchors opened their programs on Thursday visibly aghast at a network poll conducted by SSRS that found 67 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters say the party should nominate someone other than Biden. Additionally, only about a quarter say he “inspires confidence” and has the “stamina and sharpness” to effectively hold office. Even so, some 70 percent of likely Democrat voters said it’s “very or extremely likely” that Biden will be the party’s 2024 nominee.
So far, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Marianne Williamson, and Green Party candidate Cornel West are declared challengers to President Biden, while speculation continues to swirl around California Gov. Gavin Newsom and even Vice President Kamala Harris. But what if there is another candidate no one is talking about yet?
On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by Ric Grenell, former acting director of U.S. National Intelligence, who laid out why he believes the Democrats are gearing up to have Biden step aside at the Democratic National Convention next August and nominate Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instead.
Replacing Joe Biden
Despite the number of candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring on the Democratic side, the party has maintained that there will be no debates or formally recognized challenges to the incumbent. Grenell said the position makes sense because Democrat “elites” are trying to avoid a “messy” and “crazy” primary where they will have to “spend a lot of money,” but that doesn’t mean they aren’t leaving their options open.
Acknowledging that the Democratic Party is “so calculating and so united,” he believes they will wait until the moments before the August 2024 Democratic National Convention in Chicago to announce Biden will no longer be able to seek re-election despite having secured the nomination. “They’ll take it to the convention,” he explained. “And there will be a fight with Gavin Newsom and [Kamala Harris].”
At that point, an alternative will emerge. “Lo and behold, we better come up with a third person and the unity candidate will be Gretchen Whitmer from Michigan,” he predicted. “She’ll make it all about abortion… She won big [in Michigan] making it about abortion.”
Megyn called Grenell’s theory “fascinating” and could understand why someone like Whitmer would be an attractive choice. “They might get Midwesterners if they go with Gretchen Whitmer,” she noted. “[But those voters] would hate what Gavin Newsom is doing to children in California, to parental rights… we could go down the list.”
Grenell said Newsom will not be the candidate because the Dems will be “crucified” if they nominate “straight white male again.” Plus, as someone who lives in California, he can’t fathom how he would fare on the national stage. “This whole idea that somehow he is electable is a joke,” he shared. “He doesn’t even work in swing counties in California – they keep them away from San Fernando Valley; they keep them away from Palm Springs; he doesn’t go to places that are not hardcore left.”
Vice President Harris, meanwhile, is basically “Gavin Newsom, Jr.” from a policy perspective, Megyn said, in addition to her underwhelming performance as Biden’s number two. “They recognize Kamala Harris’ weaknesses,” she said. “And that’s why they’d go with somebody from the Midwest – Michigan is a very important state, Wisconsin is a very important state, and all the swing states are a little bit more moderate.”
Ultimately, Grenell believes the desire to retain power will win out. “These people are not interested in transparency or an actual election; they are interested in keeping their power,” he concluded. “They want to put forth the first woman president… and I believe that this is absolutely going to happen.”
You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Grenell by tuning in to episode 622 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.