George Clooney Tells Joe Biden: Quit to Save Democracy

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

George Clooney directly told his “friend” Joe Biden to end his re-election campaign Wednesday in a New York Times op-ed headlined, “I Love Joe Biden. But We Need a New Nominee.”

Clooney became the highest-profile name of any kind to demand Biden, 81, drop out, saying that he had seen close up the president’s decline just three weeks ago when he co-hosted a glittering Hollywood fundraiser.

The Hollywood star and powerful Democratic benefactor, who said Biden was his first choice in 2016 and who excused the president’s slipping poll numbers in 2021, comparing Biden to a “battered child,” pulled no punches on Wednesday.

“We are not going to win in November with this president,” he declared.

Moments later, fellow Tinseltown royalty Michael Douglas, who is a long-time Biden supporter and knows a thing or two about playing The American President, agreed with Clooney.

“Well, I think it’s a valid point,” he said during a Wednesday appearance on The View. “I mean, I’m deeply, deeply concerned. I mean, especially, it’s difficult because the Democrats have a big bench. I mean, they’ve got a lot of heavy-hitters.”

Clooney pleaded with the Democratic party leaders “to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw” in Biden’s disastrous debate performance against Trump.

At the glitzy fundraiser weeks before, Biden was just as bad, Clooney continued. He was “not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020,” he wrote.

President Joe Biden greets George Clooney during a reception for Kennedy Center honorees at the White House in December, 2022.

President Joe Biden greets George Clooney during a reception for Kennedy Center honorees at the White House in December, 2022.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

“Pod Save America” co-host Jon Favreau, who was also in attendance, recently agreed, describing Biden as “debate-style bad.”

“We all walked out of that fundraiser here in L.A. and we’re talking to each other and to people around us who were, you know, in politics and we’re like, that was chilling. It was very, very, very unnerving,” Favreau’s co-host Tommy Vietor, who was also at the fundraiser, added.

Clooney wrote that “every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private” concurred with him that Biden was a liability not only for the presidency. “We won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate,” if he stays at the top of the ticket, he added.

“Most of our members of Congress are opting to wait and see if the dam breaks. But the dam has broken. We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth,” Clooney wrote, specifically urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Nancy Pelosi to call on Biden to step aside.

I’ve Seen Joe Biden Up Close. Nobody Can Deny His Decline.

Clooney also floated Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Vice President Kamala Harris as “strong” alternates who should be “stepping forward to stand and tell us why they’re best qualified to lead this country.”

“Then we could go into the Democratic convention next month and figure it out,” Clooney suggested. “Would it be messy? Yes. Democracy is messy. But would it enliven our party and wake up voters who, long before the June debate, had already checked out? It sure would.”

Clooney closed the letter with praise for the president: “Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020. We need him to do it again in 2024.”

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