Sherrod Brown Is Dodging Biden Questions. His Wife Says Biden's Debate Performance 'Was a Disaster'

Ohio senator's wife says not to 'put all our faith' in Biden

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown with his wife Connie Schultz (Jamie Rose/Getty Images)
July 9, 2024

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said he is "not a pundit" when asked about whether President Joe Biden should remain at the top of the ticket this November. But Brown’s high-profile wife, Connie Schultz, is happy to play that role.

Schultz, a former newspaper columnist, often shares her musings about politics on a Substack called "Hopefully Yours." On July 4, a week after the presidential debate, Schultz appeared despondent at the state of the race.

"There’s no denying last week’s debate was a disaster, on all fronts," Schultz wrote. She added later: "The debate was a potent reminder that it’s never a good idea to put all our faith in one human being."

Schultz’s writings highlight the civil war playing out within the Democratic Party over what to do with Biden, whose approval ratings are the lowest in the history of modern polling. Brown, considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in a state former president Donald Trump won by more than 7 points in 2016 and 2020, has remained coy on whether Biden should step aside.

Brown declined to answer that question just days after the debate and he hasn't directly said what he thinks of Biden’s cognitive abilities. He told a local news outlet on July 2 that "my focus is on my job, that means fighting for women’s rights, it means, and focus on this campaign and the contrast between me and [my Republican opponent] Bernie Moreno and that will continue to be my focus."

On Monday, Brown’s tune changed slightly. He told an NBC News reporter that, although "I’m not a pundit, I’ve talked to people across Ohio. They have legitimate questions about whether the president should continue his campaign, and I’ll keep listening to people."

Brown’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

But Schultz, an outspoken progressive, has no problem weighing in. The morning after the debate, Schultz posted on X, formerly Twitter, that "The demands of punditry require instant wisdom, and we are seeing the folly of that right now. Our first thought is seldom our best take," in an apparent jab at Democratic pundits and lawmakers who panicked at Biden’s performance.

Nor is Schultz the average senator’s wife. She is highly involved in Brown’s reelection campaign and hosts fundraisers where he is not even present.

Politico called her Brown’s "louder half," who would "redefine the role of campaign spouse" in 2018.

"You won’t see a candidate’s spouse like her—we never have, and you won’t see for a long time—that’s as accomplished as she is, that is as outspoken as she is, that has a reach like she does," Brown said at the time. "You will not see that in any other candidate team, if you will."

Other Democrats have had no problem calling on Biden to drop out of the race, including at least 10 members of the House. Outlets such as Politico have reported that many other Democratic incumbents share the same belief, but are too afraid to speak out publicly.

Brown already faced an uphill battle before Biden’s catastrophic debate performance. He is one of Biden’s most reliable votes in the Senate and has staked out far-left positions that do not appear in line with Ohio’s red electorate.

In March, Brown introduced a resolution "declaring racism a public health crisis" and called on the federal government to do more about "microaggressions" and the "forms of violence" that black Americans face when "jogging in neighborhoods."

The next month, Schultz held a fundraiser cosponsored by anti-Trump group Grass Roots Resistance and attacked the former president as well as "heteronormal men."