Biden campaign says it raised more than $28 million ahead of Hollywood fundraiser featuring Obama and dozens of celebrity supporters

Within 24 hours, President Joe Biden will have gone from the G7 summit to George Clooney.

Mr. Biden left Italy Friday evening after a meeting with world leaders and arrived in Los Angeles early Saturday morning before a star-studded fundraising evening with former President Barack Obama, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Clooney and actress Julia Roberts.

The Biden-Harris campaign says it has already raised $28 million for Saturday night’s event, a record sum for a single Democratic fundraiser. It also eclipses the $26 million the Biden campaign raised at a March fundraiser in New York with Biden, Obama and former President Bill Clinton.

President Joe Biden salutes as he arrives on Air Force One, Saturday, June 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. Biden will attend a campaign event Saturday evening.

Alex Brandon/AP

Saturday’s event will include a moderated interview of Biden and Obama by Kimmel that is expected to focus on health care. Kimmel publicly defended the Affordable Care Act, passed by Obama and Biden, after his newborn son underwent open heart surgery in 2017.

Clooney and Roberts will host Saturday’s event. Appearances from actors Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Kathryn Hahn and Sheryl Lee Ralph are also expected, as well as an undisclosed musical guest.

Other celebrities, such as Keegan-Michael Key, Connie Britton, Misha Collins, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco, Mandana Dayani, Blake Cooper Griffin and Adam Met, will be in attendance, according to the Biden campaign.

Ticket prices for Saturday’s event ranged from $250 to $500,000, although local donors could contribute $20 to attend the fundraiser virtually.

Hollywood actors have been on the campaign trail in support of Biden in recent weeks. Robert De Niro participated in a campaign news conference in May outside the Lower Manhattan courthouse, where former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” trial was taking place. Ralph from “Abbott Elementary” campaigned with Vice President Kamala Harris in Pennsylvania, and Jane Fonda appeared at a campaign event in Reno, Nevada. With first lady Jill Biden on Friday.

The money comes at a time when the race is tight between Biden and Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. A CBS News Poll as of June found Mr. Biden gaining 1 point in battleground states, a virtual tie. The Biden campaign says the money raised Saturday will be used to expand its core operations (field offices, staff) and paid media.

“This Saturday, we will witness an unprecedented and record participation from the world of media and entertainment. The enthusiasm and commitment for Biden/Harris could not be stronger. We all understand that this is the most important election of our lifetimes. said Jeffrey Katzenberg, Biden-Harris campaign co-chair and film producer.

While Mr. Biden held a considerable cash flow advantage for most of the cycle, Mr. Trump said he saw his own fundraising increase. His campaign says they raised $52.8 million within 24 hours of his conviction on 34 counts during his “hush money” trial.

The Trump campaign says it also raised a question a record $50.5 million at an April fundraiser in Florida.

Mr. Clooney’s involvement in fundraising sparked some intrigue after the Washington Post reported in June that he called a White House adviser to air his grievances about Biden’s criticism of of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which Clooney’s wife, Amal, works on. Biden criticized the ICC Request for arrest warrant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

A few days later, the Biden campaign sent a fundraising text from Clooney.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say this election is the fight of our lives,” Clooney’s text read. “It’s a choice between those who want to take America back to the past, and those who want to move America into the future.”

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