George Clooney calls on Joe Biden to withdraw from presidential race

George Clooney has issued a scathing call for Joe Biden to withdraw from the US presidential race, hours after senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi dodged questions about his resolve.

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

His comments came after Ms Pelosi, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, joined growing disquiet within the party, saying time was running out for Biden to decide whether to stay in the race against Donald Trump after his disastrous debate.

Clooney wrote in The New York Times that it was “devastating to say,” but that the Mr. Biden he met at a fundraiser 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 saw at the debate,” Clooney said.

The fundraising event, held in Los Angeles, raised a record $30 million (£23.3 million) for Biden's campaign in one evening.

“Our party leaders must stop telling us that 51 million people did not see what we just saw.”

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

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

Meanwhile, public discontent is growing within Biden's party as he comes under fire over his hosting of the NATO summit in Washington.

Mrs. Pelosi, a former speaker of the House of Representatives and still one of the most powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill, appeared on Wednesday to ignore Biden's insistence that he was determined to press ahead.

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

“It is up to the president to decide whether he will run. We all encourage him to make that decision, because time is running out.”

About a dozen elected Democrats suggested he end his campaign after his June 27 debate with Trump.

On Tuesday, Colorado's Michael Bennet became the first Democratic senator to publicly voice his opinion.

While he did not call for Biden's immediate resignation, he did say Trump would win the election, possibly in a “landing victory.”

Others have been more direct. Mikie Sherril, a North Jersey congresswoman, said in a statement: “I ask him to declare that he will not seek re-election.”

Mrs. Pelosi acknowledged the demands being placed on the president, telling MSNBC: “I've said to everybody, let's wait a little bit longer.

“Whatever you think, tell someone privately, but you don't have to put it on the table until we see how it goes this week. But I'm very proud of the president.”

New York Congressman Pat Ryan later wrote on X: “For the good of our country and for the sake of my two young children, I am asking Joe Biden to step aside.”

Overall, however, support among elected Democrats remains strong.

Gavin Newsom, the California governor who Clooney mentioned as a possible replacement, said he was still “fully behind” Biden.

The Congressional Black Caucus, a group of about 60 politicians, and newer members of the House of Representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have openly supported him.

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “I stand with Joe.”

When asked about Bennet and Pelosi's comments, the Biden campaign reiterated the president's statement that he would “take this race to the end.”

A spokesman also referred to Ms Pelosi's comment on Tuesday that she was “always committed” to Mr Biden.

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