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Biden Team Uses Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ Tactics amid Democrat Unrest

If you find yourself attacking George Clooney as an out-of-touch Hollywood elite, you might either be a standard Republican politician or a Democrat on the verge of losing the White House.

On Wednesday, the actor—who had recently raised $30 million for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign—shared some “devastating” news. The man who appeared bewildered and incoherent during much of his debate with Donald Trump last month was the same person Clooney encountered at a Hollywood fundraiser. “He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020,” Clooney wrote. “He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Clooney isn’t the only one who witnessed this side of Biden. Since June 27—when Biden’s campaign said it would “reset” the race, proving Biden’s normalcy against Trump’s perceived madness—the president’s unscripted appearances have been almost equally disastrous. His interview on ABC with George Stephanopoulos left the interviewer doubting Biden’s fitness to serve until January 2029.

After acknowledging concerns about the president’s ability to serve another term, Biden’s campaign quickly adopted a tone of confident defiance. They instructed congressional Democrats to accept his nomination as a done deal, even though the convention is more than a month away. According to Time magazine, aides to the president are modeling their actions on Trump’s reaction to the “Access Hollywood” tape, hoping to move past the disaster by pretending it never happened.

As a result, they have to attack an ally who has lost faith. A Biden campaign official told CNN that Clooney left the Hollywood fundraiser hours before Biden did, describing the actor as “low energy” and “washed up.” Allies of the president informed Politico that Clooney only spent an hour or so with Biden at the fundraiser, which had been scheduled around the actor’s plans.

This strategy leads to blaming jet lag for Biden’s poor debate performance 12 days after the fundraiser. It also excuses his unsettling behavior, such as when he mistakenly said he was the “first Black woman to serve with a Black president” during a scripted radio appearance.

Within Biden’s circle, there’s a belief that denial is a winning strategy. Politico reports that their hope is for the media to pay less attention to Biden once the Republican National Convention starts on Monday. This strategy suggests relying on reduced media attention, even as campaign funds dwindle because donors—like Clooney—feel disrespected and ignored.

“The money has absolutely shut off,” a source close to Biden’s campaign told NBC News.

In an ideal world, a Democratic candidate wouldn’t need vast amounts of money to win, and the electorate would prioritize decency and capability over concerns about a candidate’s longevity. However, Biden’s candidacy is dragging the rest of the Democrats down, as his surrogates are forced to lie to uphold his campaign.

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer confidently tells voters she believes Biden can serve until he is 86, it sounds insincere. Reports suggest that most Democrats privately doubt the president’s abilities. This growing frustration could push the party to take drastic steps if Biden doesn’t voluntarily step aside.

The panic isn’t limited to elites but is shared by grassroots supporters who talk to voters regularly. It is fueled by polling data showing Biden trailing Trump by just 2.2% on average, according to FiveThirtyEight, and internal surveys indicating other Democrats outperform Biden, especially in battleground states crucial for preventing a Trump win.

Knowing that time will not be kinder to Biden in the coming months is another source of concern. The June debate was meant to give Biden an advantage, not put him further behind Trump, who faces multiple legal challenges. The prospect of another debate in September adds to the anxiety within the Democratic camp.

Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, told CNN that the White House has not demonstrated a clear plan to win the election. Vermont Senator Peter Welch urged Biden to prioritize the nation and consider stepping aside for the greater good.

While Biden’s core supporters might find solace in the fact that the public calls for his withdrawal come from a minority of elected Democrats, shifting sentiments among key supporters like Whitmer suggest growing unrest. Although Biden has so far resisted calls for a cognitive test or to step aside, successful press conferences might not be enough to quell the rising concerns.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has hinted that patience within the party may be wearing thin. If Biden doesn’t voluntarily step aside soon, he might be pushed out by his own party members.

Source: Salon