Biden has been holding fundraisers alongside his two-term Democratic presidential predecessors, trying to join their ranks


Washington
CNN

President Joe Biden on Thursday joined Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, The only two-term Democratic presidentsBiden aims to use their star power to woo big-pocket donors as he tries to join their ranks.

In his biggest fundraiser so far this election cycle, Biden joined Obama and Clinton for a high-dollar fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the two former presidents said as they enter the general election campaign. Determines the future of democracy in America.

All three presidents sat down for a conversation with late-night host Stephen Colbert. Tickets for the fundraiser ranged in price from $225 to $500,000, with high-dollar guests getting perks like celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz taking photos with the three presidents.

More than 5,000 donors are expected to attend the event, which also includes celebrities such as Queen Latifah, Lizo, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo and Lea Michele.

Three of the remaining living Democratic leaders were in the same room — Jimmy Carter, 99, who is receiving hospice care, did not attend — and Biden and Democrats believe the race against his predecessor is tied. , former President Donald Trump.

Trump was also in New York on Thursday, attending an event for Jonathan Tiller, the NYPD officer who was killed in Queens earlier this week. Tiller was killed during a traffic stop on Monday.

“What happened was a sad, sad event, such a terrible thing. And it happens so often that we don't let it happen. We can't,” Trump told reporters.

He added, “We have to tighten it up. We have to go back to law and order and we have to do a lot of things differently because it's not working.

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The former president's campaign hopes to top Biden's record next month. It is expected to raise at least $33 million, sources familiar with the matter said April 6 eventIt will be attended by some of the GOP's highest donors.

While Thursday night's key events were limited to high-paid donors, the campaign also held what they described as a separate “pre-program” for grassroots donors, with participation from campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez and Biden, Obama and Clinton.

That star power seems to have paid off. The Biden campaign said it had raised more than $25 million ahead of the fundraiser — making it the most successful single political fundraiser ever in terms of dollars raised. About a third of that $25 million was in small-dollar, grassroots donations of $200 or less made online, sources familiar with the fundraising efforts told CNN.

Backers were invited for $25 to participate in a “virtual pre-program for grassroots supporters” featuring the three presidents.

Thursday's fundraiser is expected to be the start of Obama's involvement with Biden's campaign. The former president visited the White House last week to record content with Biden, and they plan to roll it out steadily over the next few weeks.

He is expected to play a bigger role in Biden's campaign — traveling to college campuses and taking important battleground stakes — closer to November.

Ahead of the fundraiser, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of midtown Manhattan to protest Biden's support for Israel amid its war in Gaza, calling for a cease-fire.

Biden was interrupted by cease-fire protesters during a stop in North Carolina earlier in the week, where he admitted, “They have a point — we need to pay more attention inside Gaza.” He also called A temporary ceasefire and the release of Hamas prisoners.

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This story has been updated with additional reporting.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny, Donald Judd, Brian Rokus, Kristen Holmes and Fredreka Schouten contributed to this report.

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