George Clooney has called for Joe Biden to pull out of the 2024 US election

New York (AFP) - Actor George Clooney, one of the Democratic Party’s leading fundraisers, on Wednesday made an emotional and heartfelt plea for President Joe Biden to end his faltering reelection campaign.

Clooney – a member of the Hollywood elite that provides key support to the Democrats – joined a growing list of public figures calling for Biden, 81, to step aside after his terrible debate performance against Donald Trump last month.

“I love Joe Biden,” Clooney wrote in the New York Times. “I consider him a friend, and I believe in him… But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time.”

A self-described “lifelong Democrat,” Clooney co-hosted a star-studded fundraiser with Biden in Los Angeles only last month featuring former president Barack Obama.

The Biden campaign said that the event brought in a record $28 million.

“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, referencing a famous hot-mic clip from Biden’s vice presidency.

“He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” Clooney said – a direct challenge to Biden’s claim that his poor debate showing was a one-off.

“The dam has broken” on Democratic lawmakers publicly calling for Biden to withdraw, Clooney said, asking more come forward.

“Top Democrats – Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries, Nancy Pelosi – and senators, representatives and other candidates who face losing in November need to ask this president to voluntarily step aside.”

The Oscar-winner brushed aside worries that Biden’s exit would create chaos four months before an election in which the Democrats hope to keep Trump from power, and did not endorse a replacement candidate.

The party should hear from contenders such as Vice President Kamala Harris, Maryland Governor Wes Moore and others, “then we could go into the Democratic convention next month and figure it out,” he wrote.