Clooney presses Biden to end 2024 bid; Pelosi urges swift decision

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Despite the mounting concerns, President Biden and his top aides have maintained that he will stay in the race…reports Asian Lite News

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that “we’re all encouraging” President Biden to make a final decision on whether he will continue his re-election bid.

Pelosi emphasized in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview that the decision on whether President Biden will run for reelection rests with him. Urging Biden to decide soon, Pelosi highlighted his widespread respect and popularity among Democrats, although she noted she no longer holds a leadership position to gauge overall congressional support.

“We’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short,” Pelosi said.

While acknowledging Biden’s admiration and respect within the party, Pelosi refrained from explicitly endorsing his candidacy, stating, “He’s beloved, he is respected, and people want him to make that decision. Not me.”

When pressed if she personally wants Biden to run, Pelosi maintained a neutral stance, stating, “I want him to do whatever he decides to do, and that’s — that’s the way it is. Whatever he decides, we go with.”

Meanwhile, George Clooney, the Hollywood actor and influential Democratic financial supporter, has called for Biden to end his re-election campaign, arguing that the president is too old to run again.

In a New York Times guest essay published on Wednesday, Clooney wrote, “The one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. 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.”

Last month, Clooney co-hosted a USD 28 million fund-raiser in Hollywood for Biden, which the campaign cited as the largest ever for a Democratic candidate. Now, his public plea makes him the most high-profile figure within the party to urge President Biden to withdraw from the race, as reported by The New York Times.

Despite the mounting concerns, President Biden and his top aides have maintained that he will stay in the race. On Monday, Biden reassured top donors that he would not address the debate controversy any further, though he mentioned it again during a video call with Democratic mayors on Tuesday night.

Clooney’s essay echoes the personal sentiments of many Democrats, who worry that Biden’s continued candidacy could jeopardise not only his own re-election but also the prospects of fellow Democrats in down-ballot races.

Clooney wrote, “We are not going to win in November with this president. On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate. This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.”

The actor’s stance comes at a critical juncture, as Biden had seemingly managed to stabilise his standing within the party after recent debates. However, the combination of Pelosi’s comments and Clooney’s public call for Biden to step down is likely to intensify the scrutiny on the president and his campaign.

A representative for the Biden campaign referred back to the president’s letter to congressional Democrats on Monday, in which he reiterated his commitment to stay in the race, The New York Times reported.

Notably, Biden’s health at 81 years old has raised many concerns among voters as the November elections near.

Several top House Democrats have urged President Biden to step aside from the 2024 campaign, expressing deep concerns about his potential impact on the Democratic Party’s chances in the upcoming elections, CNN reported.

Former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod too publicly called for President Biden to step aside from the 2024 race, citing concerns over Biden’s age and performance.

In an op-ed for CNN, Axelrod emphasised that he believes Biden’s duty to the country should prompt him to withdraw, suggesting that failing to do so could overshadow his legacy. Axelrod’s stance underscores growing pressures within the White House following Biden’s lacklustre showing in a recent CNN presidential debate.

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