George Clooney joins calls for Joe Biden to drop out of 2024 presidential race

10 July 2024, 17:27 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 18:28

Actor George Clooney has called for Joe Biden to step aside in the presidential race
Actor George Clooney has called for Joe Biden to step aside in the presidential race. Picture: Getty

By Flaminia Luck

Movie star and lifelong Democrat George Clooney has added his voice to calls for Joe Biden to leave the 2024 presidential race.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The actor said in a New York Times opinion piece that he loves President Biden but the party would lose the presidential race as well as any control in Congress with him as the nominee.

"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," wrote Mr Clooney.

He has hosted several high-dollar Hollywood fundraisers, including for Mr Biden last month.

Mr Biden has refused to end his re-election bid after his disastrous performance in last month's CNN debate against opponent Donald Trump.

The President is currently welcoming leaders from across the world for the Nato's 75th summit, including the Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer.

President Joe Biden shakes hands with George Clooney during the Kennedy Center honorees reception at the White House in Washington
President Joe Biden shakes hands with George Clooney during the Kennedy Center honorees reception at the White House in Washington. Picture: Alamy

Clooney argued the party should pick a new nominee at its convention next month, saying the process would be "messy" but "wake up" voters in the party's favour, mentioning Vice President Kamala Harris and Governors Wes Moore of Maryland, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Gavin Newsom of California among those from who the country should now hear.

Focusing much of his piece around Mr Biden's age, Clooney noted differences he saw in the 81-year-old president during their recent Los Angeles event compared to years past.

"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," Clooney wrote.

"He wasn't even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate."

Last month, Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who took the stage for a fundraiser that took in a record 30 million dollars-plus for Mr Biden, in hopes of energising would-be supporters for a White House contest they said may rank among the most consequential in US history.

Luminaries from the entertainment world have increasingly lined up to help Mr Biden's campaign. Leading up to the fundraiser, Clooney's name appeared on numerous fundraising missives from the campaign, which he called "the fight of our lives".

Read more: LIVE: Manhunt launched for suspect 'armed with crossbow' as mum and two daughters murdered in Hertfordshire

The actor previously endorsed Barrack Obama
The actor previously endorsed Barrack Obama. Picture: Getty

The historic NATO summit has been somewhat overshadowed in part by the mounting calls for Mr Biden to step aside.

The President has insisted he is staying in the race and even challenged Democrat 'elites' to challenge him at the party's convention in August.

Mr Biden wrote an open letter to Democrats reassuring that he is fit and well enough to run, but Ms Pelosi's comments have thrown a spanner into the works.

Speaking on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Ms Pelosi said Mr Biden needs to "deal with this Nato conference" before making a decision.

"We're all encouraging him to make that decision," Pelosi added, "because time is running short".

"But he's beloved, he is respected and people want him to make that decision."

Read more: Keir Starmer urges NATO to ‘unite’ to 'Trump-proof Ukraine aid' ahead of US election

President Joe Biden presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi
President Joe Biden presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Picture: Getty

One of the questions Prime Minister Starmer has been facing since his arrival in Washington last night is about Mr Biden's age.

Britain has a “very special relationship” with America and rules for a new retirement age shouldn’t apply to Joe Biden, Starmer said today.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s first face-to-face meeting with the US President later today, he insisted that he wants to follow up what is a very close defence and security partnership.

But he dismissed talk that his retirement age for the House of Lords of 80 would make Joe Biden unsuitable for office in the US.

He said Britain and the US were partners for both making big contributions to NATO and in Europe – and he hoped to discuss taking this work forward as they meet later on.

Sir Keir and Victoria Starmer will both attend a White House dinner with Mr Biden and his wife Jill on Wednesday evening.

And the PM will have his first one on one talks with the President too.

Read more: Keir Starmer arrives at NATO summit, as Tories demand to know when government will boost defence spending

Follow the NATO summit with LBC
Follow the NATO summit with LBC. Picture: LBC

Sir Keir is in Washington for the 75th anniversary NATO summit – his first international trip in office.

He said ahead of the trip:

  • Britain will hike spending to 2.5% of GDP on defence – but wouldn’t give a timeframe to do it – sparking a backlash from Conservatives
  • He will kick back the decision until after a new defence and security review looks at threat to the nation and where savings may be made
  • Senior members of David Lammy’s team will meet with Donald Trump allies as they prepare for a possible change in the White House later this year
  • Talks to beef up the UK's relationship with Europe will also take place with Europe minister Nick Thomas Symmonds on the sidelines of the Washington summit
  • Sir Keir condemned the “appalling” attack on a children’s hospital in Ukraine – but said it wasn’t up to him whether to call it a war crime
  • He urged nations to “show unity” in NATO and Ukraine cash ahead of the US election later this year in a message to Donald Trump who has expressed doubt over continued spending
  • A fresh package of UK aid for Ukraine is expected later this week

Starmer says review needed to set timeline to reach 2.5% defence spending

Sir Keir told reporters ahead of the meeting with the US president: “I’ve already had a phone call with President Biden. I want to follow up on that, this is obviously a very special relationship we have between the UK and the US.

“We have, within that, a special aspect when it comes to defence and security for obvious reasons including our commitment to NATO.

“We make a unique contribution in Europe to NATO and therefore it’s a very good opportunity for me to talk to the President about how we take forward the important work at this summit.”

But the PM slapped down suggestions that his plans to curb the House of Lords with a new retirement age should apply to the US.

Labour plan to curb the size of the UK's bloated second chamber by enforcing a retirement age of 80.

American defence expert: 'We don't have time to lose'

Mr Biden, who is running again for the White House in November, is already 81.

Sir Keir said when asked about whether he would like to see that applied in other nations, said: “In terms of the age in the House of Lords, the simple fact is that our House of Lords is massive. It’s the second biggest political chamber in the world.

“I think it’s only the Chinese who have a bigger political chamber than our House of Lords - we have to reduce it.

“That is the primary driver of the retirement at 80. You can see why that needs to be done. We’ve got 800-plus members of the House of Lords, it’s simply too big. We need to reduce it.

“So it doesn’t reflect on how other elected representatives are chosen in other countries, it’s to do with the size of the House of Lords.”

Accompanying him on the trip is Europe minister Nick Thomas Symonds. The PM hopes Mr Thomas Symonds will have constructive talks about beefing up our defence partnership.

Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria board a plane
Britain's Prime Minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria board a plane. Picture: Alamy

Sir Keir insisted that the timing of the election ahead of international summits like NATO and the European Political Community meeting which will be hosted at Blenheim Palace later this month, would be useful to build relationships to secure a better Brexit deal.

He said ahead of the summit: “On the defence and security pact this is really important to us. I do think there is scope for a significant improving of our defence and security relationship with the EU.

“I think this is complementary with NATO.

“NATO is still the cornerstone of defence in Europe and our approach on defence has always been Nato first.

“I do see scope for complementing that. That is why we are wanting to advance the defence and security pact or agreement with the EU.

“Because of the timing of the election, which was much discussed for other reasons, it has provided a really important window of opportunity for me and my team, because we’ve got the NATO summit within a week of the election, so we get the opportunity to strengthen our relations with various of the Nato leaders and others obviously that are there, including EU leaders.

“And then of course we’ve got the European Political Community coming up at the tail end of next week, so that’s why I wanted Nick and David and John and me – I want to make sure we take full advantage of this opportunity.

“These are meetings that would probably take months and months and months for us to fit in as a team, if we were not taking advantage of this summit for the purposes of those relations and the EPC.

“The central purpose is obviously all about Nato but it is a very important opportunity to strengthen those relations.”

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Charlotte Dujardin pulls out of Paris 2024 after video shows three-time Olympic champion ‘hitting horse on the legs'

A "short-tempered" cyclist has been jailed for at least 27 years for fatally stabbing a BMW driver who knocked over his bike on Maylons Road, Ladywell

'Short-tempered' cyclist jailed for at least 27 years for fatally stabbing a BMW driver who knocked over his bike

Wesley Akum-Ojong

Oxford University student, 19, who died after 'jumping in River Thames' while celebrating exam results named

Head shot of a woman speaking into a microphone

Secret Service director resigns after Donald Trump assassination attempt

The new head of the British army has said that the UK has three years to prepare for war

Three years to prepare for war: New head of British army says UK's fighting force needs to double

Charlotte Dujardin, Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian, has pulled out of Paris 2024

Britain's joint-most decorated female Olympian Charlotte Dujardin pulls out of Paris games after 'error of judgement'

An Australian woman claims she was raped by five men in Paris

Australian woman 'raped by five men in Paris' just days before start of Olympics, as police hunt attackers

Police and police vehicles in a street of houses

Man faces murder charges after mass shooting in Croatia nursing home

Kimberly Cheatle admitted "full responsibility" for the attempt on Trump's life.

Secret Service boss Kimberly Cheatle resigns after Trump assassination fiasco

An empty tree-lined street in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone ‘coup’ leader sentenced to 182 years in prison

The former police watchdog chief has been found not guilty of raping and molesting two 14-year-old girls

Former police watchdog chief found not guilty of raping and molesting two 14-year-old girls

Anjem Choudary was told "I suspect you are a terrorist" after police officers smashed through his front door

Moment international terror police swoop to arrest Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary, as he faces life in jail

Sharpnose Sevengill Shark (Heptranchias perlo), which is related to the Brazilian sharpnose shark

'Cocaine sharks' found in the Atlantic - and 'drug use' may be changing their behaviour

Line of men in suits watch on as one man signs something

Hamas and Fatah sign declaration to form future government as war rages in Gaza

Christopher and Janine Barton (l) were killed in the crash. A  mum, dad and their two youngest daughters also died (r)

Pictured: Biker and wife killed in horror crash that left girl, 11, orphaned

Exclusive
Suella Braverman says the Conservative Party is going in the wrong direction.

Suella Braverman warns Tories must 'grapple with phenomenon of Reform' to win back voters