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George Clooney joins Democrat supporters, donors calling for Biden to drop re-election bid | CBC News



George Clooney joins Democrat supporters, donors calling for Biden to drop re-election bid | CBC News

It’s not just a handful of congressional Democrats who are urging U.S. President Joe Biden to re-think his re-election prospects — some prominent party supporters and donors are, too.

The 81-year-old Biden has been fighting to keep his re-election effort afloat after a much-criticized June 27 debate performance against 78-year-old Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. The men are the two oldest candidates to ever seek the presidency.

On Wednesday, Hollywood actor George Clooney publicly joined the chorus of voices calling for Biden to quit the presidential race.

In an op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, Clooney withdrew his support for Biden, saying the Democrat leader was not the same man he was in 2020.

“It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” Clooney, who recently co-hosted a fundraiser for Biden, wrote in the op-ed.

WATCH | Vanity Fair’s Brian Stelter on Democrats’ concerns:

George Clooney calls on Biden to quit, says he’s ‘not the same Joe’

Hollywood A-lister and longtime Democrat donor George Clooney is calling on Joe Biden to exit the U.S. presidential race. Writing in the New York Times, Clooney says, ‘We are not going to win in November with this president.’

“We are not going to win in November with this president. On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate.”

David Axelrod, a political consultant who served as a senior adviser to former U.S. president Barack Obama, said the fact that Clooney had recently been at Biden’s fundraiser gave the actor’s comments a particular impact.

“That’s devastating and it’s what people fear,” he told CNN’s Inside Politics.

A concerning ‘drum beat’

Since the debate, Biden has defied calls to exit the ballot and given interviews to ABC News and MSNBC’s Morning Joe to drive home the message he’s ready to fight Trump for the presidency this November.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting at NATO's 75th anniversary summit in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2024.
Biden speaks during a meeting at NATO’s 75th anniversary summit in Washington on Wednesday. (Nathan Howard/Reuters)

But he’s still fighting growing pushback to being the Democrats’ contender — including from nine House Democrats who have publicly said Biden must go. And late Wednesday, Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont became the first Democrat in the upper chamber to do the same.

“We cannot unsee President Biden’s disastrous debate performance,” Welch said in an opinion piece published in The Washington Post.

Brian Stelter, a special correspondent for Vanity Fair, says it’s unlikely that Biden is going to see less of this type of criticism with time.

“This is a drum beat that is going to continue,” he told CBC’s Power & Politics on Wednesday.

Author Stephen King has also weighed in on the matter, recently writing on X that Biden “has been a fine president, but it’s time for him—in the interests of the America he so clearly loves—to  announce he will not run for re-election.”

Likewise, actor and director Rob Reiner, who had already called for Biden to drop out, wrote on Wednesday that Clooney had “clearly expressed what many of us have been saying.”

Damon Lindelof, the co-creator of the TV series Lost, last week called for Democrat donors to withhold funds until Biden is off the presidential ticket.

Comparing Biden to a tired baseball pitcher who needs to be pulled off the mound, the screenwriter said he’s “ready to hear the walkout song for our closer,” in his guest column published by the website Deadline.

Activist and filmmaker Abigail Disney has also called for Biden to end his re-election bid.

WATCH | How the Democrats could choose another candidate:

3 ways the Democrats could replace Joe Biden | About That

As a growing number of Democrats call for Joe Biden to drop out of the 2024 U.S. presidential race ahead of the Democratic National Convention, About That producer Lauren Bird breaks down the options to replace him on the ballot and what makes some of them especially challenging.

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