Hollywood star Clooney urges Biden to quit White House race

Peter Angelopoulos
Updated July 11 2024 - 2:27pm, first published 11:35am
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Clooney at a Hollywood ceremony celebrating his achievements. Picture File
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin Clooney at a Hollywood ceremony celebrating his achievements. Picture File

Hollywood heavyweight George Clooney has withdrawn support for President Joe Biden's re-nomination campaign saying the 81-year-old president cannot "win a fight against time".

Clooney's opinion piece in The New York Times says "I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he's won many of the battles he's faced".

"But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It's devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ' big F-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."

The White House denies that US President Joe Biden has any health conditions impeding his cognitive state. In a press conference with Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, journalists repeatedly asked about Biden’s mental wellbeing.

Clooney, 63, wrote the June 27 TV debate exposed the president's cognitive state.

"Was he tired? Yes. A cold? Maybe. But our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn't see what we just saw. We're all so terrified by the prospect of a second Trump term that we've opted to ignore every warning sign."

US President Joe Biden speaks during a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 10 July 2024. EPA/TING SHEN / POOL
US President Joe Biden speaks during a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 10 July 2024. EPA/TING SHEN / POOL

"As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, whom we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question."

'Bench is deep'

Clooney said "Democrats have a very exciting bench. We don't anoint leaders or fall sway to a cult of personality; we vote for a president. We can easily foresee a group of several strong Democrats stepping forward to stand and tell us why they're best qualified to lead this country and take on some of the deeply concerning trends we're seeing from the revenge tour that Donald Trump calls a presidential campaign".

The withdrawal of support comes after Clooney hosted a fundraiser with actor Julia Roberts which raised more than $44 million in what the Biden campaign said was the largest Democratic fundraiser in history.

The president has said he is "not going anywhere" and urged anyone wanting him to step aside to "challenge" him at the party's convention. Seven House Democrats have publicly said Mr Biden should not run for re-election.

Peter Angelopoulos

Peter Angelopoulos

Head of National Digital News desk for ACM mastheads.

Reach out at peter.angelopoulos@austcommunitymedia.com.au.