Disney heir joins other Democrat backers to pause donations until Joe Biden steps aside | Joe Biden

In the minutes after Joe Biden and Donald Trump stepped on to the stage for the first debate of the 2024 presidential campaign, the grand narrative of this election year shifted off its axis and, in the words of CNN’s veteran broadcaster John King, “a deep, wide and aggressive” panic set in among Democrats.

A week on, and Biden has said he isn’t going anywhere, but a trickle of major Democratic donors speaking out against the president has grown into a stream.

On Thursday, Abigail Disney – the heir to the Disney family fortune and a major party donor – announced she would withhold donations unless Biden dropped out of the race.

“This is realism, not disrespect,” Disney told CNBC, adding “if Biden does not step down the Democrats will lose. Of that I am absolutely certain. The consequences for the loss will be genuinely dire.”

In her statement, Disney said vice-president Kamala Harris could be an alternative candidate to beat Trump. “If Democrats would tolerate any of her perceived shortcomings even one tenth as much as they have tolerated Biden’s … we can win this election by a lot,” she said.

For now, Disney represents a minority of donors, but within Biden’s campaign, a clear and concerted effort to tamp down panic among campaign funders is under way.

On Monday, the campaign held a hastily scheduled call with hundreds of top Democratic donors, according to the Reuters news agency. On the call, Biden’s team reportedly promised to make the president more visible at town halls and through interviews to reassure the public.

Despite their reassurances, the campaign was reportedly forced to field “pointed” questions from donors, including “can the president make it through a campaign and another term?”

According to Reuters and the Associated Press, another call with about 40 top donors over the weekend turned tense after Biden’s campaign manager was asked whether the campaign would offer a refund if Biden doesn’t run.

In the days that followed, one major fundraiser for the Biden campaign said some donors were learning fast how little influence they had in this situation. “There are a lot of people who think they are more important than they actually are,” the fundraiser said.

Some donors have taken the same path as Disney; to halt funding unless the Democratic candidate changes.

Screenwriter Damon Lindelof who has been a significant contributor to the party proposed on Wednesday a “DEMbargo”, withholding funding until Biden stands aside.

“When a country is not behaving how we want them to, we apply harsh economic sanctions. It’s a give and take – short term hurt for long term healing,” Lindelof wrote in Deadline.

According to CNBC, philanthropist Gideon Stein will pause almost all of a planned $3m in planned donations. “Virtually every major donor I’ve talked to believes that we need a new candidate in order to defeat Donald Trump,” Stein said.

On Wednesday, Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix and a Democratic party megadonor, joined calls for Biden to take himself out of the presidential race.

Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, have been prolific supporters of the Democratic party, donating more than $20m in recent years, including roughly $1.5m to Biden during his 2020 campaign, according to the New York Times.

The Biden campaign is eager to show its fundraising strength is holding up after the debate and have highlighted record “grassroots” fundraising in the days that followed the event. The day of the debate and the Friday after were best days for fundraising from small-dollar donors to date, with more than $27m raised across both days.

But Biden’s standing in opinion polls has taken a hit, with 59% of Democrats responding to a Reuters/Ipsos poll saying that the president of their own party was too old to work in government and 32% saying he should give up his reelection bid.

Biden held a $100m funding advantage over Trump just a few months ago, but his campaign and the Democratic National Committee entered June with $212m in the bank, compared with $235m for the Trump operation and the Republican National Committee.

However, analysts predict that if Biden can continue to attract donations in the weeks leading up to the Democratic convention, he will be able to offer party strategist and fellow congressional colleagues a reason to stay on as the candidate.

Reid Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn and an influential donor, has continued to throw his weight behind Biden, telling his donor network in an email that he felt it was counterproductive to be “musing on Biden’s flaws” and that they should be “organising around Trump’s flaws”.

Reuters contributed to this report

Disclaimer: The Article has been published through RRS Feed from “Source: Source link ” and US In Focus does not claim ownership in any form. For removal of content, please let us know through Comment or Contact Us!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Us In Focus

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top