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Biden Campaign’s Latest Effort To Sooth Big Donors Sparks Anger

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EXCLUSIVE: Joe Biden’s reelection campaign tried once again today to calm the nerves of Hollywood donors over the president’s terrible debate performance last week against Donald Trump.

“Every president in my lifetime has had a shitty first debate” campaign chair Jennifer O’Malley Dillon told the assembled contributors on a 2:30 pm PT scheduled call that started late. “We’re very confident in the president’s ability to go out there and make his case clearly.”

Besides some other campaign staffers on the call, Dillon may have been the only participant on the gathering Monday at this point feeling so confident. The shaken response to 81-year-old Biden’s capacities after his stumbling and sometimes shell-shocked stint on stage with Trump at CNN HQ on June 27 has not quelled over the last week.

Following days of essentially “ignoring what we saw with our eyes,” as one long term Hollywood Biden supporter told Deadline, the call Monday was to around 500 donors. As calls for the President to consider stepping aside or proving his mettle with a long and live sit-down interview with a network anchor proliferate among what was once a loyal legion, the campaign has been offering what one source today called “stupid spin.”

“They are no even beginning to address the elephant in the room!”

With no appearance yet Monday by Biden over the momentous presidential immunity ruling by the Supreme Court this morning, the delayed conference call led by O’Malley Dillion left one deep pocketed supporter asking afterwards in almost previously unimaginable anger: “who is running the country?”

A well-established producer on the call refereed to it as “a f*cking farce…insult to our intelligence.”

On the call with Dillon earlier, another donor said to Deadline that there was no indication of whether Biden had plans for a sit-down interview or press conference, just that he would be making remarks on the Supreme Court immunity ruling this evening. 

To that, the embattled President returned  back to the White House from a weekend with his family at Camp David in the last half hour. After little more than a boilerplate statement on the landmark decision the high court’s conservative majority delivered to the much indicted Trump, the administration announced around 2:57 pm PT that Biden would deliver remarks later in the day on the immunity ruling.

“This nation is founded on the principle there are no kings in America,” Biden said before the cameras. “No one, no one is above the law – not even the President of the United States. With today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed.” The president did not take questions from reporters after the remarks.

A top Hollywood supporter, who was not on the call, said that the next few days will be key, as it will give a fuller picture of the polls and the impact on congressional races and fundraising. The Supreme Court ruling also may have the effect of further clarifying what is at stake, instilling a sense of urgency to get moving on with the campaign, the supporter said. 

The campaign has been making outreach to donor groups and other key supporters, including sending emails to deal with the fallout from the debate. That said, a number of so- called “whales,” a.k.a. big donors who have maxed out their personal contribution limit, tell us they have not heard directly and one-on-one from the campaign.



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