Joe Biden, Barack Obama And Jimmy Kimmel Warn Of Another Donald Trump Term; Star-Filled L.A. Fundraiser Expected To Raise At Least $30 Million — Update

UPDATED: President Joe Biden’s star-filled fundraiser in Los Angeles — in which he took part in a conversation with former President Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel — is now expected to raise at least $30 million, according to a source close to the campaign.

During the roughly 40-minute sit down, Biden, Obama and Kimmel touted the current administration’s accomplishments, but a good part of the talk was devoted to warnings about another Trump term and even bafflement at the way that the former Celebrity Apprentice host has shattered so many political and institutional norms.

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Biden said that “one of the scariest parts” of another Donald Trump is that he would likely have the ability to appoint two more Supreme Court nominees.

“The Supreme Court has never been as out of kilter as it is today,” Biden said. “…The fact of the matter is that this has never been a court that has been this far out of step.”

He noted that when the Dobbs decision was issued overturning Roe vs. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that other decisions should be reconsidered, including IVF and contraception. Someone in the audience then shouted, “Gay rights.”

“By the way, not on my watch. Not on my watch,” said Biden, in a line that got one of the biggest cheers from the crowd in the 7,100-seat Peacock Theater.

Before Kimmel introduced the two presidents, he showed a video of Trump from 2020, where he predicted that if he was not elected, major holidays like the Fourth of July and Christmas would end. Kimmel had asked the president, “Is it satisfying to see that video to see how wrong Orange Julius Caesar was about your presidency?”At the outset, Biden wasted little time making a biting about Donald Trump shortly after he took the stage.

“I could have done nothing and done better than he was doing,” Biden.

The ABC late night host then went into a long list of Biden’s accomplishments, often interspersing them with irreverent quips.

Kimmel later noted that Biden said he was “fighting to restore the soul of America and lately it seems like we might need and exorcism. Is that why you visited the Pope?”

Biden laughed and said, “The truth is the way in which we communicate with people these days, there’s so much opportunity to just lie….If you have just one source you go to for your news, it’s just easy to convince people that that is the only truth that’s out there.”

Obama referred to Trump’s recent conviction, telling the audience that “Part of what has happened over the last several years is we have normalized behavior that used to be disqualifying. We have the spectacle of the nominee of one of the two major parties sitting in court and being convicted by a jury of his peers on 34 counts. His foundation is not allowed to operate because it was engaging in money business and not actually philanthropic work. You have his organization being prosecuted for not paying taxes. … There are certain standards and values that we should all abide by. Joe Biden has stood for those values and continues to do, and the other guy doesn’t.”

At times during the conversation, Biden tried out some of his own humor. With Trump and Biden neck and neck in the polls, Kimmel at one point asked, “Is this country suffering from Trump amnesia? Why do so many Americans seem to remember the Trump administration the same way we do a colonoscopy, like we know what happened. “

Biden responded, “All they got to do is remember what it was like. Remember the pandemic? He said, ‘Don’t worry. Just inject a little bleach in your body.”

“That worked for me, by the way,” Kimmel quipped. “Fair is fair.”

Biden then quipped, “By the way, it worked for him. It colored his hair.”

The event, which also featured celebrities such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand, was being touted as the largest Democratic fundraiser ever. The sum is higher than a similar celebrity-filled event the campaign held at Radio City Music Hall in New York in March, when $26 million was raised.

The Biden campaign has been marketing the star-studded event for weeks, with supporters being offered a chance to win a trip to attend and meet some of those on the bill. “It’s amazing how many people will show up to an event when you send 5,000 emails reminding them about it,” Kimmel quipped.

Jill Biden also spoke, introduced by Streisand, who said that the first lady is “the neighbor everyone wishes they have, not the type who suddenly flies an American flag upside down.”

“Trump has told told us again and again why he wants the White House — to give himself absolute power,” the first lady said.

Among the thousands attending the event were industry figures including Damon Lindelof, Marta Kauffman, CAA’s Bryan Lourd and Craig Gering, Kathy Griffin and Jim Gianopoulos, as well as politicos including Governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, among a group of lawmakers participating in a photo line with Biden and Obama. Also at the theater: Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon.

As expected, there was a heavy police presence, with loud pro-Palestinian protesters gathered on Olympic Boulevard. Demonstrators have tried to block entrances at previous Biden fundraisers, including a Holmby Hills event in December. Protesters disrupted the Radio City event at points, but it went on as scheduled.

Also appearing at the Los Angeles event were Sista Strings (singing “Lift Every Voice”), The Silhouettes, Sheryl Lee Ralph (singing a rousing rendition of “God Bless America”), Jason Bateman and Kathryn Hahn. Jack Black wore stars and stripes overalls over a Dark Brandon T-shirt. The Biden-Harris Campaign shared video of Black’s speech online.

Republicans tried to turn the tables on the expected Trump bashing at the fundraiser. Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party, said in a statement on Friday, “Democrat presidents have long had expectations of a warm welcome from Californians, but unfortunately for President Biden, his own actions and failed agenda – from rampant inflation to an open border and detrimental foreign policy – have deprived him of that reality. No amount of Hollywood magic or celebrity cameos can disguise the fact that Joe Biden is a failed president who will be retired by voters once and for all this November.”

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