In a signal to Biden, Pelosi hedges on his candidacy

In a signal to Biden, Pelosi hedges on his candidacy

Jul 10, 2024 11:52 PM IST

Biden also got another jolt on Wednesday when actor George Clooney, a lifelong Democrat who just hosted a fund-raiser for Biden, called on him to drop out

Washington: Nancy Pelosi, the senior-most Democrat in the House of Representatives, a close friend of President Joe Biden and someone he has always called the best speaker of the House in US history, became the first Democratic elder to cast doubts on Biden’s candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.

President Joe Biden (left) welcomes British Prime Minister Keir Starmer to the Nato Summit, on Wednesday, in Washington. (AP)

In an interview on Morning Joe, a liberal news show that Biden reportedly watches every day, on Wednesday, Pelosi said that she would support whatever Biden decides. But she added, “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.”

The statement is significant for Biden has repeatedly said that he is in the race and the matter is closed. But Pelosi’s statement is seen as a sign of the growing disquiet on Capitol Hill where close to a dozen Democratic lawmakers have publicly called on Biden to drop out. But many more representatives and Senators are understood to privately believe that Biden, after his debate performance on June 27, was poised to lose to the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J Trump. Lawmakers fear that having Biden at the top of the presidential ticket will also have an adverse effect on prospects of Democratic candidates in Senate, House and even some state races.

Biden also got another jolt on Wednesday when actor George Clooney, a lifelong Democrat who just hosted a fund-raiser for Biden last month, called on him to drop out in an essay on the New York Times.

“I love Joe 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..Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” Clooney wrote. He added that Biden’s interview to ABC News had reinforced the impression from the debate.

Clooney said that Democrats won’t win in November “with this president”. “On top of that, we won’t win the House, and we’re going to lose the Senate. 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. Every single one, irrespective of what he or she is saying publicly.” Clooney said that just as Biden had saved democracy in 2020, he needed to save democracy in 2024 — and that he can do so this time by dropping out.

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