Clooney and Roberts helped Biden raise more than $30 million at a gala attended by Hollywood

According to his campaign, some of Hollywood’s brightest stars hosted a fundraiser for President Joe Biden, raising a record amount of more than $30 million for a Democratic candidate, in hopes of energizing would-be supporters of a White House bid that they believe could rank among the best candidates. the greatest consequences in American history.

George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand were among those who took the stage at the 7,100-seat Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on Saturday night. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed Biden and former President Barack Obama, both of whom emphasized the need to defeat former President Donald Trump in what is expected to be an extremely tight race.

During more than half an hour of discussion, Kimmel asked if the country had lost its memory of the presumptive Republican nominee, to which Biden replied, “all we have to do is remember how things were.” “when Trump was still in the White House.

Luminaries in the entertainment world are increasingly lining up to help Biden’s campaign, and the importance of this event to his re-election effort can be seen in Biden’s decision to fly overnight across nine time zones, from the G7 summit in southern Italy to southern Italy. California, to attend.

He also missed a summit in Switzerland on how to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, instead sending Vice President Kamala Harris, who made a whirlwind trip to represent the United States there, a a stark reminder of the delicate balance between geopolitics and Biden’s efforts to achieve his goals. won a second term.

Further exposing the political implications were police wearing riot gear outside the theater. A group of protesters angry about the Biden administration’s handling of Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza demonstrated nearby.

The fundraiser included singing by Jack Black and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and actors Kathryn Hahn and Jason Bateman introduced Kimmel, who introduced Biden and Obama himself. The comedian said casually, “I was told I was introduced by Batman, not Bateman.”

But he quickly turned to much more serious topics, saying “there’s a lot at stake in this election” and listing women’s rights, health care, and noting that “ even the vote is on the ballot” referring to the Biden administration’s call to expand voting rights.

Kimmel asked the president what he was most proud of accomplishing, and Biden said he thought the administration’s approach to the economy “is working.”

“We have the strongest economy in the world today,” Biden said, adding “we strive to give ordinary people an equal opportunity.”

Trump spent Saturday campaigning in Detroit and criticized Biden’s handling of the economy and inflation. Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said the president was fundraising “with celebrities from Hollywood’s elite.”

But Biden told the crowd in California that “we’ve passed every major piece of legislation that we’ve tried to get done.” And Obama expressed admiration for the sweeping legislation on health care, public works, the environment, technology manufacturing, gun safety and other important initiatives undertaken by the former administration. His vice president oversaw.

“What we’re seeing now is a byproduct of 2016. There were a lot of people who, for whatever reason, were sidelined,” said Obama, who like Biden, wore a dark suit and shirt. white shirt with open collar, said. .

Obama, speaking of the Supreme Court, added that “hopefully we’ve learned our lesson, because these elections matter in very specific ways.”

Trump nominated three justices who helped overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. The audience expressed displeasure at the mention of Roe, and Obama responded: “don’t hiss, vote.” It’s a play on his popular refrain, favoring voting over booing.

Biden said the person elected president in November may have the opportunity to nominate two new justices, although a second term would likely not significantly reform the court with its current conservative majority. 6-3.

He also suggested that if Trump regains the White House, “one of the scariest parts” is the Supreme Court and the high court “has never been so out of step.”

Biden also addressed reports that an upside-down flag, a symbol associated with Trump’s false claims of election fraud, was hung outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on January 2021. He worried Saturday that, if Trump is reelected, “He’s going to appoint two more people to fly their flags upside down.”

Kimmel showed off his unique sense of humor throughout the night. At one point he asked how a president could get back at a talk show host who mocked him on TV every night.

“Have you ever heard of Delta Force?” Biden replied, referring to the Army’s special operations unit.

Earlier in the show, Kimmel noted Biden’s campaign promise to restore America’s soul and said “lately it seems like we need an exorcism.” He then asked Biden, “Is that why you visited the Pope?” Biden and Pope Francis met in Italy on Friday.

The amount raised far surpassed the then-record $26 million from Biden’s March fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York, which featured late-night host Stephen Colbert interviewing Biden, Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

Biden had an early lead in the campaign money race with Trump, but the former president has been gaining ground since he officially locked in the Republican nomination.

Trump bested Biden’s New York event by raking in $50.5 million at a major donor gathering in April at billionaire investor John Paulson’s Florida home. The former president’s campaign and the Republican National Committee announced they raised a whopping $141 million in May, adding to the tens of millions of dollars in contributions that came in after the verdict. Trump’s guilt in his criminal hush money trial.

That post-conviction surge came after Trump and the Republicans claimed $76 million in April, far exceeding Biden and the Democrats’ $51 million for the month.

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