Three-term Rep. Jared Golden, a Lewiston Democrat, said Tuesday that the outcome of November’s presidential election has been clear to him for months: President Biden will lose.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, shown in 2022, said, “Pearl-clutching about a Trump victory ignores the strength of our democracy.”  Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press

“While I don’t plan to vote for him, Donald Trump is going to win,” Golden said of the presumptive Republican candidate. “And I’m OK with that.”

Golden laid out his thinking in an op-ed published online in the Bangor Daily News in which he denounced those who consider Trump, a felon who lost reelection in 2020 and whom Golden twice voted to impeach, “a unique threat to our democracy.”

“Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign to scare voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system,” Golden said.

State Rep. Austin Theriault, of Fort Kent, the Republican hoping to unseat Golden in Maine’s Republican-leaning 2nd Congressional District, wasn’t impressed with the incumbent’s column.

In a statement headlined “Phony Golden Pretends to Toss Biden Overboard,” Theriault said his Democratic foe didn’t even say whether he still supports Biden or not.


“What a phony,” Theriault said. “Simple questions for Jared Golden: does he support Joe Biden for President or not? Does Golden believe Biden is mentally competent or not?”

“Golden won’t say, because he puts politics ahead of Mainers,” said Theriault, whose endorsement by Trump helped him win a Republican primary last month.

Amy Fried, a retired political science professor at the University of Maine, said Golden’s position is naive.

“A second term Trump is far more dangerous to democracy than the Trump that engaged in actions that led Golden to vote for articles of impeachment for Trump’s abuses of power,” she said.

Fried said the lawmaker “is overlooking the reality that Trump was held in check” during his first term “to some extent by people on his staff who supported American institutions.”

But if he wins in November, she said, Trump “plans on picking pre-vetted Trump loyalists” and just got a green light from the U.S. Supreme Court to use his powers “anyway he wants.”


“Trump promised to be a dictator on Day 1, has talked about retribution, and the other day put out a meme about holding military tribunals to try former Rep. Liz Cheney (of Wyoming) and others for treason,” she said, expressing a concern widespread among Democrats.

A spokesperson for the National Republican Campaign Committee, Savannah Viar, said that “everyone can see this op-ed for what it truly is: a blatant election year tactic to try and hold on to relevancy. But at the end of the day, voters know that Jared Golden puts politics above the people of Maine.”

In his column, Golden said that “lots of Democrats are panicking about whether President Joe Biden should step down as the party’s nominee” in the wake of his lackluster showing last week in a debate against Trump, who carried Golden’s district in both 2016 and 2020.

He said that “Biden’s poor performance in the debate was not a surprise” and “didn’t rattle me as it has others, because the outcome of this election has been clear to me for months.”

“Democrats’ post-debate hand-wringing is based on the idea that a Trump victory is not just a political loss, but a unique threat to our democracy,” Golden said. “I reject the premise.”

“We don’t need party insiders in smoke-filled back rooms to save us,” Golden said. “We can defend our democracy without them.”


“This Independence Day marks our nation’s 248th birthday. In that time, American democracy has withstood civil war, world wars, acts of terrorism, and technological and societal changes that would make the Founders’ heads spin,” Golden said.

“Pearl-clutching about a Trump victory ignores the strength of our democracy,” he said, which includes the way it stood the test of an insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.

Golden said that “hundreds of millions of freedom-loving Americans who won’t let anyone take away our constitutional rights as citizens of the greatest democracy in history.”

“This election is about the economy, not democracy,” he said. “And when it comes to our economy, our Congress matters far more than who occupies the White House.”

“In 2025, I believe Trump is going to be in the White House,” Golden said. “Maine’s representatives will need to work with him when it benefits Mainers, hold him accountable when it does not and work independently across the aisle no matter what.”

“This Independence Day, we should reflect on the history and strength of our great democracy, safe in the knowledge that no one man is strong enough to take it away from us,” Golden said.

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