George Clooney calls for Joe Biden to quit presidential race

George Clooney has issued a damning call for Joe Biden to pull out of the US presidential race, hours after senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi swerved questions about whether he should continue.

The Hollywood actor and prominent Democratic Party fundraiser, said that the president had won many battles in his career, “but the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time”.

His comments came hours after Ms Pelosi, the former House Speaker, joined growing disquiet in the party, saying that time was “running short” for Mr Biden to decide whether to stay in the race against Donald Trump after a disastrous debate late last month.

Clooney said in The New York Times that it was “devastating to say it” but the Mr Biden he met at a fundraiser three weeks ago was not the “Joe ‘big ****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,” he said. “Our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw.

“This is about age. Nothing more,” he continued. “We are not going to win in November with this president.”

The growing dissent has emerged amid one of the most consequential weeks of Mr Biden’s struggling re-election campaign as he hosts a crucial Nato summit in Washington.

On MSNBC’S Morning Joe, when asked if she supported President Biden’s re-election, Ms Pelosi said: “I want him to do whatever he decides to do.”

“It’s up to the president to decide if he’s going to run. We are all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short.

Her response appeared to ignore Mr Biden’s repeated statement on Monday, on the same programme, that he was committed to staying in the race.

The president has struggled to maintain morale within his party since his 27 June debate performance against Trump.

Since then, around a dozen elected Democrats have suggested he should abandon his election campaign in private and public comments.

On Tuesday, Michael Bennet of Colorado became the first Senate Democrat to publicly dissent.

Although he did not call for Mr Biden to quit outright, he said Trump would win the election, possibly by a “landslide”.

Others have been much more direct.

North Jersey Congresswoman Mikie Sherril said in a statement: “I am asking that he declare that he won’t run for re-election.”

Acknowledging the pressure, Ms Pelosi said on Wednesday: “I said to everyone – let’s just hold off. Whatever you’re thinking, either tell somebody privately, but you don’t have to put that out on the table until we see how we go this week. But I am very proud of the president.”

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