Mar 29, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"The world needs him": Obama, Clinton make case for second Biden term

President Biden and former President Obama exiting Air Force One in New York City on March 28.

President Biden and former President Obama exiting Air Force One in New York City on March 28. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Former Presidents Obama and Clinton defended President Biden's record at a star-studded Biden fundraiser and maintained that global democracy needs him, according to a transcript released by the White House on Friday.

Why it matters: Democrats have argued that democracy is on the ballot in the upcoming presidential election, a point Biden and the former presidents emphasized at the record-setting fundraising event Thursday.

  • The fundraiser brought in a record $26 million-plus for Biden's re-election campaign and attracted about 5,000 people to Radio City Music Hall in New York City, per the AP.

The other side: Organizers of an April 6 fundraising event for former President Trump have claimed their Mar-a-Lago affair will raise even more — at least $33 million, Axios' Mike Allen reports.

Zoom in: At the top of the Democrats' event, in a response to a question from moderator Stephen Colbert, Biden explained his fears about the future of U.S. democracy.

  • "I think our democracy is at stake," he said. "Not a joke. I think democracy is literally at stake."

What they're saying: In Obama's first answer, he explained that Biden's performance doesn't need to be compared to Trump's but could stand on its own. Obama noted job growth in recent years and historic unemployment rates.

  • "It's not just the negative case against the presumptive nominee on the other side; it's the positive case for somebody who's done an outstanding job in the presidency," Obama said.

Clinton said Biden isn't needed just for American democracy but "democracy around the world needs him."

  • "He's been good for America, and he deserves another term," he said.
  • On the economy, Clinton said it's "going to get better and better and better and better and better" and that "we should stay with what works and not let people who try to undo it take credit for what happened."

Answering whether he's too old to be president, Biden, 81, took a jab at Trump, 77, saying the former president's ideas "are from the 18th, 19th century."

  • "I mean, all the things he's doing are so old — speaking of old," Biden said.

The big picture: People protesting the war in Gaza and Biden's support for Israel interrupted the event several times.

  • In response, Biden condemned Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel and said his administration is "working like hell" to prevent civilian deaths and to get food and medicine to Palestinians.

Go deeper: Obama defends Biden as protesters disrupt campaign event

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