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Actor George Clooney, a prominent Biden supporter and fundraiser, calls on the president to drop out of the race | National

Actor George Clooney, a prominent Biden supporter and fundraiser, calls on the president to drop out of the race | National

Movie star and longtime Democrat George Clooney also joined calls Wednesday for Joe Biden to drop out of the presidential race, just weeks after headlining a fundraiser that brought the president’s re-election campaign record revenue in a single night.

In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Clooney said he loved Biden, but with him as the candidate, the party would lose the presidential election and any control of Congress.

“This is not just my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator, congressman and governor I have spoken to privately,” wrote Clooney, who has hosted several high-profile fundraisers in Hollywood, including one for Biden last month.

Clooney argued that the party should choose a new candidate at its convention next month. The process, while “chaotic,” would “wake up” voters and turn them on to the party’s side. Among the candidates the country should now hear about were Vice President Kamala Harris and Governors Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California.

In his post, Clooney focused heavily on Biden’s age, pointing out differences he noticed in the 81-year-old president at the recent event in Los Angeles compared to previous years.

“It’s devastating to have to say this, but the Joe Biden I was with at the fundraiser three weeks ago was not the Joe ‘Big F-ing Deal’ Biden of 2010,” Clooney wrote. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all saw at the debate.”

Last month, Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who raised a record $30 million for Biden in a fundraiser aimed at mobilizing potential supporters for what they say could be one of the most consequential White House races in U.S. history.

Clooney is not alone in his characterization of his recent exchange with Biden.

One person who had close contact with Biden described the president as lively and engaging at a fundraiser in March, but said at the Los Angeles event a few months later that Biden’s presence had clearly diminished for them.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity about private interactions with the president, recalled being surprised by how tired and “spaced out” the president seemed during backstage conversations at the Los Angeles event, adding that Biden was given the benefit of the doubt for being less talkative and showing less energy offstage because he arrived in Los Angeles after traveling from Italy, where he had attended an international summit.

When asked for comment on Clooney’s essay, Biden’s campaign team referred to a letter the president sent to Democrats in Congress earlier this week in which he vowed to stay in the race.

His team also questioned the actor’s portrayal of Biden’s behavior during the Los Angeles fundraiser. Campaign officials who attended the event pointed out that the president stayed there for more than three hours despite having just returned from Europe.

More and more stars from the entertainment industry are supporting Biden’s campaign. In the run-up to the fundraiser, Clooney’s name appeared on numerous fundraising letters from the campaign, which he described as “the fight of our lives.”

Clooney’s representatives did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on his decision, when exactly he made it or how recent his conversation with Biden was.

Biden has refused to give up his re-election efforts following his poor performance in the debate against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on June 27.


Kinnard reported from Chapin, South Carolina. She can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP


Associated Press writer Aamer Madhani contributed to this story from Washington.

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