George Clooney calls for Joe Biden to step down, says he witnessed president’s decline in person 3 weeks ago

George Clooney calls for Joe Biden to step down, says he witnessed president’s decline in person 3 weeks ago

"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.

Hollywood icon and longtime Democratic fund-raising leader George Clooney has joined a growing list of political and entertainment figures calling for President Joe Biden to bow out of the 2024 election race against Donald Trump.

Like many before him, the Oscar-winning actor and producer cited concerns over Biden's 81 years of age impacting his ability to lead the party to victory in November, but added that, before Biden's disastrous performance at the June 27 debate, he witnessed Biden's decline in person at a political event nearly three weeks ago.

"I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced," Clooney wrote in a New York Times essay published Wednesday, in which he acknowledged his friendship with Biden. "But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. 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."

<p>Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images</p> George Clooney and Joe Biden

Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

George Clooney and Joe Biden

He continued: "Was he tired? Yes. A cold? Maybe. But our party leaders need to stop telling us that 51 million people didn’t see what we just saw. We’re all so terrified by the prospect of a second Trump term that we’ve opted to ignore every warning sign. The George Stephanopoulos interview only reinforced what we saw the week before. As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, who we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question."

Clooney also alleged that he's spoken to numerous Democratic senators and members of congress in private in recent days, and that "every single one" shares the sentiment that "we are not going to win in November with this president." He also claimed that many of the politicians he spoke with have different forward-facing stances on the issue, and are "saying publicly" things that contradict how they really feel about Biden's acuity.

The 63-year-old goes on to suggest that several prominent Democrats could step up to lead the November ticket, noting that the nominating process at the 2024 Democratic National Convention could “enliven our party and wake up voters" among the base.

"We can put our heads in the sand and pray for a miracle in November, or we can speak the truth," Clooney wrote, finishing the essay with a final note of praise for Biden before calling on him to bow out once again. "Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020. We need him to do it again in 2024."

Entertainment Weekly has reached out to the White House and the Biden campaign for a response. When reached for comment, Clooney's publicist tells EW there's "nothing to add" to the actor's New York Times essay.

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Others who've attended recent events with Biden have praised the president on social media, including diplomat James Costos, who tweeted Wednesday that he was "proud to be with" Biden in person in Los Angeles.

Amid sustained calls from both Democrats and Republicans to drop out of the matchup against Trump, both Biden and White House representatives have maintained that he'll remain in the race. Biden confirmed in a July 5 X post that he's “not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work. I'm staying in the race, and I will beat Donald Trump."

New York's governor, Kathy Hochul, also recently told MSNBC that Biden is the best candidate running, and that she felt emboldened to support him after meeting with him less than a day after the debate.

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“What I saw less than 24 hours after the performance the night before, was Joe Biden himself, at his best, energetic, fully alert, and conversational,” Hochul said. "One bad night does not affect three-and-a-half years of stellar accomplishment, and I’m really excited about the next four years ahead as well."

Other entertainment figures calling for Biden to let another Democratic candidate tap in for the party include several cohosts on The View particularly Sara Haines and former Trump White House communications staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin.

"It kind of pains me to say this today, but I think President Biden needs to step down and be replaced if we want to defeat Donald Trump in November," Haines said, urging Democrats to stop "twisting the age issue" by making excuses for Biden's performance.

Also amongst Biden's critics are Stephen King, Rob Reiner, Michael Moore, and Michael Douglas — the last of whom said Wednesday on The View that he worries about Biden's fitness for office in the near future if he's elected to a second term.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.