George Clooney names Wes Moore as potential candidate to replace Biden in race

Actor and lifelong Democrat George Clooney added his voice to calls for Joe Biden to leave the presidential race on Wednesday. 

Clooney said in a New York Times opinion piece that he loves Biden, but the party would lose the presidential race as well as any control in Congress with him as the nominee.

"This isn’t only my opinion; this is the opinion of every senator and congress member and governor that I’ve spoken with in private," wrote Clooney. 

Clooney mentioned a handful of potential new candidates in the opinion piece, including Maryland Governor Wes Moore. 

"We can easily foresee a group of several strong Democrats stepping forward to stand and tell us why they’re best qualified to lead this country and take on some of the deeply concerning trends we’re seeing from the revenge tour that Donald Trump calls a presidential campaign," wrote Clooney. "Let’s hear from Wes Moore and Kamala Harris and Gretchen Whitmer and Gavin Newsom and Andy Beshear and J.B. Pritzker and others." 

Clooney is a lifelong Democrat and has consistently hosted massive fundraisers for the political party over the years. His most recent one last month pulled in $30 million for the Biden campaign.

"It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe "big F-ing deal" Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate," Clooney wrote. 

Biden’s debate performance has been dividing Democrats for weeks, with many others calling on him to bow out of the race. Biden maintains he’s staying in the race. 

"We are not going to win in November with this president," Clooney wrote, adding that this is about Biden’s age and nothing more. 

President Biden is 81 years old, and would be 82 come a January 2025 inauguration. His state of mental and physical fitness has been a concern among voters for months, but was especially heightened after a low-energy debate performance that showed Biden with a quiet, raspy voice. 

Can Joe Biden be replaced?

It would be nearly impossible for Democrats to replace Biden against his will based on several factors. 

Every state has already held its presidential primary. Democratic rules mandate that the delegates Biden won remain bound to support him at the party's upcoming national convention unless he tells them he’s leaving the race, according to The Associated Press. 

The conventions and their rules are controlled by the political parties. The Democratic National Committee could meet before the convention opens on Aug. 19 and change how things will work, but that isn't likely as long as Biden wants to continue seeking reelection.

If Biden chose to step aside, the process of replacing him would be unprecedented. 

"Would it be messy? Yes. Democracy is messy. But would it enliven our party and wake up voters who, long before the June debate, had already checked out? It sure would," Clooney wrote. 

RELATED: List of top Democrats who have called on Biden to exit race

What Joe Biden is saying

President Biden has conceded the debate didn’t go well for him, but has maintained he is staying in the race and is up for the fight to win a second term as president.

He is publicly urging his supporters to stay unified, and said Sunday at a public appearance in Pennsylvania that he feels the most optimistic he’s ever felt about America’s future. 

On Monday, he sent a letter to Hill Democrats insisting he’s "declining" to step aside and said it’s time for the party drama "to end." 

But more top Democrats this week continue to call for his exit. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi even stopped short of a full endorsement on Wednesday, saying "it’s up to the president to decide."

"Joe Biden is a hero; he saved democracy in 2020," Clooney finished in his essay. "We need him to do it again in 2024."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.