George Clooney is calling on Biden to drop out of the 2024 race after co-hosting a Democratic fundraiser for him. Here’s why it matters.
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George Clooney is calling on Biden to drop out of the 2024 race after co-hosting a Democratic fundraiser for him. Here’s why it matters.

George Clooney is calling on President Biden to drop out of the 2024 race for the White House, just weeks after he and his Democratic presidential hopefuls co-hosted a massive fundraiser for his re-election campaign.

What exactly did Clooney say?

In an editorial published Wednesday in The New York Times, the Oscar-winning actor said he loves Biden and considers him a friend, but that while it pains him to say it, the 81-year-old president has clearly lost steam with age.

“The only battle he can’t win is against time,” Clooney writes. “Neither of us can.”

The Big Picture

Clooney, a longtime Democrat and donor, has hosted numerous high-profile fundraisers for the party. In 2020, he gave more than $500,000 to Biden’s campaign and co-hosted a virtual fundraiser for him that raised $7 million.

On June 16, Clooney, along with fellow actors Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand, hosted a star-studded fundraiser for Biden in Los Angeles that raised more than $30 million for his re-election campaign. At the event, Biden and former President Barack Obama were questioned onstage by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

In his column, Clooney said Biden’s condition had clearly deteriorated.

“This is devastating, but the Joe Biden I was at a fundraiser with three weeks ago was not the ‘great F***ing deal’ Joe 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.”

Clooney said that after Biden’s shaky debate performance last month, he no longer believes the president will be able to defeat former President Donald Trump in the fall.

“We will not win in November with this president,” Clooney writes. “And we will not win the House and we will lose the Senate. That is not just my opinion; it is the opinion of every senator, member of Congress and governor I have spoken to privately. Every single one, regardless of what they say publicly.

“The dam has burst,” he added. “We can bury our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can tell the truth.”

Why is Clooney’s opinion important?

George Clooney is calling on Biden to drop out of the 2024 race after co-hosting a Democratic fundraiser for him. Here’s why it matters.George Clooney is calling on Biden to drop out of the 2024 race after co-hosting a Democratic fundraiser for him. Here’s why it matters.

President Biden (R) greets actor George Clooney during an honorary reception at the Kennedy Center at the White House in 2022. (Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Clooney has deep ties to Washington and this administration. In December 2022, he visited the White House, where he received Kennedy Center honors. Last year, Biden appointed Clooney to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, which advises the president on cultural policy.

In May, the Washington Post reported that Clooney called a top Biden aide to complain about the president’s criticism of the International Criminal Court’s actions against Israeli leaders, a case his wife was handling. Amal Clooneya lawyer specializing in international human rights, he has worked on.

What are other Hollywood donors saying?

Clooney is not the first high-profile Hollywood donor to call on Biden to drop out of the race. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel have said Biden should resign as a candidate. Billionaire IAC Chairman Barry Diller, who has given $100,000 to the president and a joint Democratic super PAC for 2024, said this week he would no longer donate to Biden and would no longer support him.

In his column, Clooney dismissed concerns that if Democrats choose a new candidate, money raised by the Biden-Harris campaign would be wasted.

“All the scare stories we’re told about what happens next are simply not true,” he writes. “Money in the Biden-Harris coffers could very likely go toward helping elect presidential candidates and other Democrats.”

What would Clooney like to see happen?

George Clooney meets with then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss U.S. policy in Sudan in 2009. George Clooney meets with then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss U.S. policy in Sudan in 2009.

George Clooney meets with then-Vice President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss U.S. policy in Sudan in 2009. (Sharon Farmer/White House/ZUMA Press)

Clooney argued that the party should choose a new candidate at its convention next month and said he would like to “hear” from Vice President Kamala Harris and Governors Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gavin Newsom of California and Andy Beshear of Kentucky.

“We Democrats have a very exciting bench,” Clooney writes. “We don’t anoint leaders or indulge in a personality cult; we vote for the president.”