George Clooney calls for Joe Biden to quit presidential race

George Clooney has issued a damning call for Joe Biden to quit the US presidential race, hours after senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi swerved questions about whether he should continue.

The Hollywood actor and prominent Democratic Party fundraiser said that the president had won many battles in his career, “but the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time”.

His comments came after Mrs Pelosi, the former House Speaker, joined growing disquiet in the party, saying that time was “running short” for Mr Biden to decide whether to stay in the race against Donald Trump after his disastrous debate.

The president has stated, repeatedly, that he is determined to remain as the Democratic party’s candidate and beat Trump in November.

Clooney wrote in The New York Times that it was “devastating to say it” but the Mr Biden he met at a fundraising event three weeks ago was not the “‘Joe ‘big ****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 said.

The fundraising event, held in Los Angeles, brought in a single-night record of roughly $30m (£23.3m) for the Biden campaign.

“Our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw.”

“This is about age. Nothing more,” he continued. “We are not going to win in November with this president.”

Clooney added that his concerns matched those of “every” member of Congress he had spoken to.

Public dissent, meanwhile, continues to grow within Mr Biden’s party as he faces scrutiny while hosting the Nato summit in Washington.

Mrs Pelosi, a former House Speaker and still one of the most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill, on Wednesday appeared to disregard Mr Biden’s insistence that he was determined to continue.

When asked if he should stay in the election race, she told MSNBC’s Morning Joe: “I want him to do whatever he decides to do.”

“It’s up to the president to decide if he’s going to run. We are all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short.”

A Biden campaign spokesperson referred to Mrs Pelosi’s comment on Tuesday, in which she said that she had “always been committed” to Mr Biden.

Around a dozen elected Democrats have suggested he abandon his campaign since his 27 June debate with Trump.

On Tuesday, Michael Bennet of Colorado became the first Democratic senator to publicly dissent.

Although he did not call for Mr Biden to quit outright, he said Trump would win the election, possibly by a “landslide”.

When asked about Mr Bennet’s comments, the Biden campaign repeated the president’s statement that he was “running this race to the end”.

Others have been more direct. Mikie Sherril, a congressman for North Jersey, said in a statement: “I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for re-election.”

Acknowledging the demands on the president, Ms Pelosi told MSNBC: “I said to everyone – let’s just hold off.

“Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week. But I am very proud of the president.”

Pat Ryan, a congressman from New York, later wrote on X: “For the good of our country, for my two young kids, I’m asking Joe Biden to step aside.”

Overall support from elected Democrats remains robust, however.

Gavin Newsom, the California governor who was named by Clooney as a potential replacement, said he was still “all in” with Mr Biden.

The Congressional Black Caucus, a group of roughly 60 politicians, and newer House members like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have publicly backed him.

On Tuesday, Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the Senate, said: “I’m with Joe.”

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By Mahir

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