Joe Biden ally Nancy Pelosi raises racial concerns, George Clooney calls for resignation
5 mins read

Joe Biden ally Nancy Pelosi raises racial concerns, George Clooney calls for resignation

For nearly two weeks, Biden, 81, has sought to stave off defections from Democratic lawmakers, donors and other allies who feared he could lose the Nov. 5 election to Republican Donald Trump, 78, after Biden’s disappointing performance in a June 27 debate.

The president has repeatedly said he will be the Democratic nominee and believes he can beat Trump.

Pelosi said on MSNBC that she is encouraging her colleagues on Capitol Hill who have concerns about Biden to refrain from speaking about them when he hosts NATO leaders in Washington this week.

“I told everyone: Let’s hold off. Whatever you think, tell someone privately, but you don’t have to put it on the table until we see how this week goes,” she said, describing Biden’s forceful remarks at the NATO summit on Tuesday as “spectacular.”

She declined to say explicitly that she wants Biden to run. “I want him to do whatever he decides to do,” she said. “We all encourage him to do that because time is running out.”

Asked to respond, Biden’s team referred to a letter Biden sent to congressional Democrats in which he said he was “firmly committed” to staying in the race and defeating Trump. It also noted Pelosi’s remark Tuesday that she had “always been committed” to Biden.

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal echoed Pelosi’s message later Wednesday, saying he was “deeply concerned” about Biden’s ability to win the race.

In his column, actor Clooney wrote: “This is devastating, but the Joe Biden I was at a fundraiser with three weeks ago was not the Joe Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all saw at the debate,” Clooney wrote.

“We will not win in November with this president. On top of that, we will not win the House of Representatives and we will lose the Senate.”

Joe Biden ally Nancy Pelosi raises racial concerns, George Clooney calls for resignation
George Clooney attends a screening of the film in New York in December 2023. Photo: AP

Biden was greeted with thunderous applause as he met with a group of labor leaders, an important part of his political base, on Wednesday, joining a meeting of the AFL-CIO executive council in Washington to discuss “their shared commitment to defeating Donald Trump,” Biden’s campaign said.

At the meeting, Biden cited high rent, high grocery prices and a housing shortage as problems that need to be addressed going forward.

Biden said there are “a whole range of things we will do with your help in a second term.” “We are in a better position than any other country in the world to own the rest of the 21st century with unions.”

Labor votes played a key role in Biden’s victory over Trump in competitive states, including Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania, in 2020.

Democrats in Congress remain deeply divided over whether to stand with Biden or urge him to step down amid persistent questions about his health and acumen. Biden has said he is fit to serve but understands the questions.

Some have expressed concerns that Biden maintaining his leadership position could cost the party the White House and both houses of Congress in November.

But the public departures still represent a small percentage of the 213 House members who lean Democratic, and the party leadership continues to publicly support Biden.

No member of the Senate has publicly said Biden should concede, though Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado said Tuesday he did not believe Biden could defeat Trump.

02:48

US presidential debate: Biden, Trump argue over economy and war in Ukraine

US presidential debate: Biden, Trump argue over economy and war in Ukraine

Biden, seeking to change history, has surrounded himself with communities of his most loyal supporters, including black Democratic lawmakers and voters. His campaign has portrayed Biden’s embrace as a return to the loyalty he has shown them throughout a half-century of public life.

Biden’s first 2020 campaign rally took place in 2019 at a union headquarters in Pittsburgh, and the president has made his ally with Big Labor leaders a key pillar of his populist economic platform. Last September, he became the first sitting president to join a union strike when he met with the United Auto Workers to ask for higher wages.

Biden used the NATO summit as a global stage, including his forceful speech condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin. He will meet with NATO leaders on Wednesday and then host a dinner for heads of state.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who is the party’s main alternative in case Biden drops his candidacy, will meet with the Black Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in Dallas after a campaign visit to Las Vegas on Tuesday.

After the NATO summit, Biden will hit the road again, visiting two hotly contested battleground states — Michigan and Nevada — that he must win over to defeat Trump.