Former Democratic Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio criticized President Joe Biden for not taking several actions that he believes could alleviate concerns regarding Biden’s age. This critique followed a June 27 debate between Biden and former President Donald Trump, where Biden’s performance may have heightened scrutiny about his fitness for office.

After a challenging performance in a CNN debate with Trump, where he visibly struggled, Biden has faced calls to step aside. During the debate, Biden experienced moments where he froze, lost his train of thought, and made several verbal gaffes. Ryan, who has faced criticism from Democratic Sen. John Fetterman (D) of Pennsylvania for his outspokenness, defended his comments by stating he was trying to “speak the truth” about the concerns regarding Biden’s mental capacity. Ryan emphasized the need for openness about the president’s capabilities in light of the debate performance.

“I have every right to say whatever I want, and if I have a little bit of a bigger microphone than most citizens, you can bet I’m gonna use it, and if it makes you a little bit uncomfortable, that’s not my problem,” Ryan told Fox News host Neil Cavuto. “Look, I like John Fetterman. He ran a good race. I ran a good race. He came out on top. I didn’t. But I still got a voice, and what we need in this democracy are citizens that aren’t afraid to speak up if they may make somebody uncomfortable. And chances are if you’re making people really uncomfortable, you may be speaking to some truth that’s out there.”

“And I’m just not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend I didn’t see what I saw on Thursday night,” Ryan continued. “And I think we have to take another direction here so we can win this race, and you can call me all the names you want and try to poke fun at me all you want. I don’t get rattled. I just try to speak the truth which is a very powerful thing. And that’s why a lot of Democrats are very, very concerned.”

Since the debate, Biden has faced increasing pressure to withdraw from the presidential race. Representative Lloyd Doggett of Texas was the first elected Democrat to publicly call for Biden’s withdrawal. Following Doggett’s lead, at least eight other House Democrats have also advocated for Biden to step aside, as reported by Axios and the New York Daily News. This growing sentiment among House Democrats highlights significant concerns within the party regarding Biden’s candidacy.

“They need the voice and need somebody to speak up. And to tell someone to not speak up, to shut up because they may say something you disagree with, like, take a cognitive test. Like, do town halls. Go do a Fox town hall like I did when I ran for the United States Senate. Get in a hostile environment and make your points, make your case, and prove to people,” Ryan said.

“You can’t read off a teleprompter, you can’t read cards off a telephone interview you’re doing and expect everyone to just get in line, and this last story coming out about the doctor going and not answering that question,” Ryan continued, referencing a fiery White House press briefing Monday afternoon where multiple reporters pressed White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about reports a neurologist specializing in Parkinson’s Disease visited with a White House doctor.

Ryan also criticized Democrats who criticized those expressing concerns about Biden. “So, what do you want us to do?” Ryan asked rhetorically. “Like, we are seeing this with our own eyes, and you’re getting mad at us, and that’s ridiculous and so, anyway, that’s all I gotta say about that.”

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Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.