Nancy Pelosi and George Clooney Deal New Blow to Biden’s Re-Election Effort

Joe Biden’s bid to keep his re-election bid alive suffered two blows on Wednesday as veteran Democratic lawmaker Nancy Pelosi said he must make a “decision” about his future and actor George Clooney said he needed to be replaced as the party’s presidential nominee.

The interventions by Pelosi and Clooney, who hosted a major fundraiser for Biden last month in California, were significant setbacks for the president as he tries to stave off a full-scale revolt against his candidate after a disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump last month.

“The decision to run or not is up to the president. We all encourage him to make that decision because time is running out,” Pelosi, the former House Speaker and one of the party’s most influential members of Congress, said in an interview with MSNBC.

Biden told Democrats this week that he is determined to continue his re-election campaign and has won the support of several powerful lawmakers in the party.

Pelosi’s vague comments, however, suggest there is still deep restlessness among grassroots Democrats on whether he should continue to run for president. Pelosi, 84, is one of Biden’s most loyal supporters but her comments fall short of outright support.

Several other Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday bluntly called on Biden to withdraw, including Peter Welch, a senator from Vermont, and House members Pat Ryan of New York and Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

Welch was the first Democratic senator to call for Biden to drop out of the race. “We cannot ignore President Biden’s disastrous debate performance. We cannot ignore or dismiss the valid questions that have been raised since that night,” he wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post.

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Clooney withdrew his support for Biden’s re-election bid in a separate opinion piece for The New York Times. Clooney wrote that he loves Biden but “the only battle he can’t win is the battle against time.”

“None of us can,” he added. “It pains me to say this, but the Joe Biden I met three weeks ago at a fundraiser is not the Joe Biden.”Big F-ing Deal‘The Biden of 2010. He’s not even the Joe Biden of 2020. He’s still the same guy we all saw in the debate.’

Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from Connecticut, added to the pressure on the president by saying he was “very concerned about Joe Biden winning this November because it’s an existential threat to the country if Donald Trump wins. I think we have to come to a conclusion as soon as possible.”

The Democratic senators are expected to meet with Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign chair, and senior White House officials including Mike Donilon and Steve Ricchetti at a lunchtime gathering on Thursday, a campaign official said.

Hakeem Jeffries, the top Democrat in the House, said lawmakers would continue to have “frank, comprehensive and informed conversations” about Biden but said he believed the president could still win in November and the party could regain control of the chamber. But he expected to relay lawmakers’ concerns to Biden, a congressional aide said.

Republicans are determined to seize on the turmoil within the Democratic Party: James Comer, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, on Wednesday issued subpoenas to three Biden aides for creating a “protective bubble” around the president to conceal his “impaired cognitive state.”

Biden is expected to hold a news conference Thursday evening at the conclusion of NATO summit He will be hosting in Washington this week, before heading to Michigan on Friday for a campaign rally.

On MSNBC, Pelosi pleaded with Democrats to hold off on publicly airing their grievances until after the NATO summit in Washington. “Let him deal with this NATO summit… whatever you’re thinking – or talking to somebody privately, but you don’t have to bring that up until we see how this week goes,” she said.

One of the most scathing accusations of Biden’s continued campaign came on CNN on Tuesday night from Michael Bennet, a Democratic senator from Colorado, who warned that Trump could win “by a landslide.”

“I’m sure President Biden has a different view of his prospects in this election than I do. But we should discuss that,” Bennet said. “And the White House in the time since that disastrous debate, I think, has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election.”

According to FiveThirtyEight’s national poll, Trump leads Biden by 2.1 percentage points, while Biden held a slight lead before the debate in late June. Trump also has an advantage in the battleground states that will decide the election in November.

In a sign of the deepening anxiety among Democrats around the November poll results, Ritchie Torres, a New York Democrat, warned on social media that “there has to be a serious reckoning with the polling effect of whoever we nominate. It’s not how we feel, it’s what the numbers tell us.”

Meanwhile, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s former communications director, said the campaign needs to prove it can still win the race. “If they have data that supports the path to victory that they see, they should release it now and help rally people who really want to beat Trump around it. People want to see the path,” she wrote on X.


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