Actor George Clooney, a lifelong Democrat, said it’s time for President Joe Biden to withdraw his reelection bid.

His stance sent shockwaves through Democratic circles. Especially since the Hollywood actor hosted a fundraiser for President Biden’s reelection campaign in Los Angeles last month.

In an opinion piece published in The New York Times on Wednesday, Clooney said the Biden he witnessed three weeks ago isn’t the same man who served as vice president to former President Barack Obama a decade and a half ago.

“He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate,” the “Ocean’s Eleven” actor wrote. “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.”

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He said Democrats are collectively turning their heads the other way every time Biden walks off Air Force One or struggles to answer unscripted questions.

“This is about age. Nothing more,” he said, adding the worst-case scenario making recent headlines isn’t accurate.

“In all likelihood, the money in the Biden-Harris coffers could go to help elect the presidential ticket and other Democrats. The new nominee wouldn’t be left off ballots in Ohio. We Democrats have a very exciting bench,” he listed out as retorts to concerns over replacing Biden.

“Would it be messy? Yes. Democracy is messy. But would it enliven our party and wake up voters who, long before the June debate, had already checked out? It sure would,” Clooney said. “Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020. We need him to do it again in 2024.”

Who is asking President Joe Biden to not run in 2024?

Clooney isn’t alone in his concerns over Biden’s age or request for a different Democratic nominee.

The president insisted he isn’t dropping out of the presidential race, and that only “Lord Almighty” could convince him to withdraw.

On Wednesday morning, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., fell short of asking Biden to stand aside, but warned of the ticking clock.

“It’s up to the president to decide if he is going to run. We’re all encouraging him to make that decision because time is running short,” Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC.

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But at least eight Democratic representatives have called for Biden to withdraw from the race. The latest comments came from New York Rep. Pat Ryan, who said the president needs to do what’s right “for the good of the country. “I really hope, with all my heart, that he will listen.”

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, in a Tuesday appearance on CNN, said he doesn’t believe Biden could win reelection.

“Donald Trump is on track, I think, to win this election, and maybe win it by a landslide, and take with him the Senate and the House,” he said, becoming the first senator to speak out. “So for me, this isn’t a question about polling. It’s not a question about politics. It’s a moral question about the future of our country.”

“The White House, in the time since that disastrous debate, I think, has done nothing to really demonstrate that they have a plan to win this election,” the Colorado Democrat added.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also shared Bennet’s worries about the unfavorable outcome of the 2024 election. “Because it is an existential threat to this country if Donald Trump wins,” he said. “So I think that we have to reach a conclusion as soon as possible.” But, Blumenthal added, “Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee has my support.”

Dozens of other congressional lawmakers have reportedly shared their unease with Biden staying on the ticket but haven’t recanted their support publicly.

Who is sticking with President Biden?

Apart from a handful of Democrats demanding a change, a large majority of Democratic lawmakers are choosing to stick by Biden. “I’m with Joe,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said repeatedly. Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina told reporters, “We’re riding with Biden.”

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Democratic progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also aligned with the current administration, according to NBC News.

“I spoke with the president extensively this weekend. He has made abundantly clear that he is in this race. He has made abundantly clear that he is not leaving the race. He is the nominee. I am making sure that I support him and making sure that we win in November,” Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told reporters. She advised the Biden campaign to lean into economic policy that favors the working class.

“If we can expand on health care, if we can make sure that people’s rents and mortgages are affordable, if we can actually provide and chart out a future that is more leaning into the needs of working people, then I think we can chart a path to win,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

Sanders had a similar message for the president. “Biden and Democrats can win this election if they address the needs of the working class,” Sanders said in a statement. “The American people want change. It will either be the change of Trump’s reactionary and xenophobic policies or change that benefits working families.”

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