Major Democratic Donors Continue Calls for Biden to Step Aside After ABC News Interview

KAKE News - July 6, 2024 8:27 pm

President Joe Biden speaks with the press before boarding Air Force One prior to departure from Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin, July 5, 2024. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden’s interview Friday night with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and the events in the days after his faltering debate performance have not quelled the fears of some major Democratic donors.

Now, more are speaking out with one arguing that Biden needs to do more than simply drop out of the presidential race.
Netflix’s co-founder and executive chairman Reed Hastings, who had called for Biden to step down after the debate, doubled down on his call after the interview.
“Biden is unfortunately in denial about his mental state. He needs to step aside to let a vigorous Democratic leader beat Trump,” he said in a statement to ABC News.

ABC News spoke with former Paypal CEO Bill Harris immediately after he watched ABC’s interview Friday night. Harris, who donated $620,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in 2020, said Biden “seemed old” in the interview and it might turn off Democratic voters who are increasingly skeptical.

Harris added that he believes that based on Friday’s interview and the debate performance the prospect of Biden stepping aside is “inevitable.”

Prior to the interview, Harris announced a political action committee (PAC) — Democrats for the Next Generation — that he founded is pledging $2 million “to fund a series of debates among prominent candidates to become the Democratic nominee for president if Biden steps aside.

“I think just about anybody who would have seen the interview today and the debate a while ago, it would be clear that President Biden stepping back is inevitable. And so what we have to think about is, okay, what is the next step?” he said.

Harris wasn’t the only major donor who’s opened up since Friday.

Whitney Tilson, an investor who said he has donated over $100,000 annually to the Democrats for many years, told ABC News before Friday’s interview, “Even one great interview is not going to change my view that it is highly unlikely he can beat Donald Trump in November, based on my reading of the American people.”

“All of us are standing by to see what happens here. Even the wealthiest people have limitations to money. If this thing is about to be a horserace, I want to hold onto my donations and my checkbook in order to support the candidates, my favorites among the candidates who throw their hat in the ring,” he said.

“It’s further indication that although he’s a wonderful person with a tremendous track record, and is a great president, he’s not in [a] condition to handle the rigors of the presidency for another four years,” he told ABC News.

Los Angeles billionaire and real estate mogul Rick Caruso also joined the calls Friday, posting on X, “In this critical time, in this vital election, stepping aside is the right and honorable thing for President Biden to do.”

Some Democratic donors aren’t just calling on the president to step aside, they’re refusing to donate a penny more until he does.

Damon Lindelof, a Hollywood producer who co-created the TV show “Lost” and attended Biden’s fundraiser in Hollywood last month, told ABC News Saturday that Biden’s week after the debate “is not a disaster. It’s a tragedy.”

“If God Almighty is the only one who can convince The President to gracefully step aside, we all need to go to our churches, temples and mosques and get to praying,” Lindelof said referencing Biden’s claim from the interview.

He’s encouraging other donors to hold their checks to tell the Biden campaign, “You won’t change your mind until there’s change at the top of the ticket.”

In a fundraising text to his supporters on Saturday, Biden said calls for him to drop out are “nonsense.”


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