George Clooney calls on Biden to drop out of the race


US actor George Clooney arrives for The Albies hosted by the Clooney Foundation at the New York Public Library in New York City on September 28, 2023. 

Angela Weiss | Afp | Getty Images

Hollywood superstar George Clooney said Wednesday that it was time for President Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race, after Biden’s disastrous debate performance and a fundraiser the actor and filmmaker co-hosted for Biden in June.

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010,” Clooney wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

“He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

The June event was a star studded fundraiser in Los Angeles featuring former President Barack Obama, actress Julia Roberts and comedian Jimmy Kimmel. The evening raised over $30 million for Biden and his larger political operation, according to NBC News.

Biden’s fumbling debate performance opposite former President Donald Trump was on June 27, nearly two weeks after the fundraiser in Los Angeles.

Clooney’s op-ed was published on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the disastrous debate, and the same day former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. refused to explicitly endorse Biden as the nominee.

U.S. President Joe Biden and former U.S. President Barack Obama share a laugh during a star-studded campaign fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 15, 2024. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

“We are not going to win in November with this president,” wrote Clooney. “On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate. This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.”

Reached for comment, a Biden campaign spokesman pointed CNBC to the president’s comments insisting that he will stay in the race.

As Biden digs in, the delicate question of how to convince him to abandon the race is vexing Democrats on Capitol Hill. Clooney implored Democratic leaders like Pelosi to ask the president to stand down.

“Top Democrats — Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi — and senators, representatives and other candidates who face losing in November need to ask this president to voluntarily step aside,” Clooney wrote.

Clooney also wrote that the president’s performances after the late June debate hadn’t been good enough to quell concerns, including Biden’s recent interview on ABC.

“The George Stephanopoulos interview only reinforced what we saw the week before,” wrote Clooney.

“As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, who we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question,” Clooney wrote.

Clooney was also careful to praise the president, who has racked up a string of legislative accomplishments in office. Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020. We need him to do it again in 2024.”

But for the Biden campaign, Clooney represents only the latest wealthy Democratic party contributor to call on the president to step down.

Abigail Disney, Stewart Bainum Jr. and Reed Hastings are among the party’s donors who have already publicly said the president should pass the baton to another candidate.

Disney and philanthropist and investor Gideon Stein both told CNBC they were done helping Democrats raise money, unless Biden announces that he won’t run for reelection.



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