2024 Election

Chaos As Protesters Paying Up To $500K a Ticket Heckle Biden, Obama and Clinton at Radio City


President Joe Biden’s appearance at a $25 million Radio City Music Hall fundraiser with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton descended into chaos as the trio of presidents being interviewed by Stephen Colbert got interrupted by protesters.

A handful of pro-Palestinian protesters shouted down the presidents, with one woman telling Biden ‘you have blood on your hands,’ as another loud guest warned of a nuclear war with Russia: ‘you’re out of your f***ing minds.’

The event was supposed to be a star-studded evening with major donors, with some tickets costing as much as $500,000.

Former President Donald Trump also traveled to New York Thursday, to pay his respects at a wake for slain NYPD officer Jonathan Diller.

Colbert kicked the conversation off by noting how he was giving Obama and Clinton give minutes each to answer his questions – adding that Biden would get seven minutes.

‘Because as the sitting president, you can order SEAL Team 6 to take me out, which according to Donald Trump’s lawyers is perfectly OK,’ the Late Show host said.

President Joe Biden’s (center) appearance at a $25 million Radio City Music Hall fundraiser with former Presidents Barack Obama (left) and Bill Clinton (right) got off to a rocky start as the trio of president being interviewed by Stephen Colbert got interupted by protester

Biden, Obama and Clinton all took shots at Trump – without saying his name – in the opening minutes, with Biden recalling what motivated him to be president – the Republican’s dealing with the racial unrest in Charlottesville in 2017.

Former President Barack Obama (left) stands onstage with President Joe Biden (right) at a $25 million fundraiser Thursday night at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The gathering was interrupted by protesters – who also surrounded the building

Obama said that Trump and the Republican Party ‘increasingly seems unconcerned with the essence of America,’ while Clinton slapped the ex-president even harder.

Former President Bill Clinton applauds onstage at Radio City Music Hall Thursday in New York City as he joined President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama at a star-studded fundraiser being hosted by the Biden 2024 campaign

Clinton said Trump ‘stole from Barack Obama’ a good economy.

‘I listened to him tell us how terrible the American economy was all during 2016. And then, by January 2017, after the inauguration, it had become wonderful, miraculously, overnight,’ Clinton said.

Protesters take part in a prayer to break their fast during Ramadan at a demonstration calling for ceasefire in Gaza, near Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan

Clinton noted how job growth was slower under Trump, but people didn’t feel it yet.

‘Then all of a sudden, Joe Biden comes along and creates roughly twice as many jobs,’ he said. ‘So I believe in keeping score. Not in a vindictive way but in a positive way.’

Police officers clash with protesters ahead of President Joe Biden’s $25 million fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall Thursday night in New York City

Colbert then quickly went to a lightning round – asking each of the leaders if they planned to sell any golden sneakers.

‘No golden sneakers,’ Biden confirmed.

The demonstrators pounced as Colbert was asking the Obama and Clinton what they missed about living in the White House, turning the conversation to Israel’s war in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian protesters showed up in droves to call for a ceasefire in Gaza as President Joe Biden and a slew of celebrities raise money in New York toward his reelection effort

‘That’s alright. Let them go. There’s a lot of people who are very, very – there are too many innocent victims, Israeli and Palestinian,’ Biden said. ‘We’ve got to get more food and medicine, supplies into the Palestinians.’

Comedians Jason Bateman (left), Will Arnett (third from left) and Sean Hayes (second from right) taped an interview of their SmartLess podcast Thursday with President Joe Biden (third from right), former Presidents Barack Obama (second from left) and Bill Clinton (right)

He noted a grisly story from the October 7 terror attack by Hamas of an Israeli mother and daughter tied together and the Hamas terrorists were ‘pouring kerosene on them, burning them to death.’

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Biden spoke of the work he was doing with Arab countries – including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar – to recognize Israel and that there needed to be post-war plan.

‘There has to be a train to a two state solution,’ the president reiterated.

Obama spoke about how being in the White House ‘is a lonely seat’ and talked about the unenviable position Biden was in.

‘And so when you look at a situation like we’re seeing in Gaza and in Israel, and your heart breaks, initially for a massacre of unbelievable cruelty,’ he said.

‘It is also possible for us to say we unequivocally support the people of Israel and their ability to live and raise families and so forth. Which is what Joe’s position has been, and it is also possible for us to have our hearts broken, watching innocent people being killed and trying to manage through that in a way that ultimately leads to both people being able to live in peace side by side,’ Obama continued.

He was interrupted by more protesters.

There were lighthearted moments too.

Biden repeated the well-known saying about life in D.C.: ‘And as Harry Truman said, the president, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’

‘I got one and get a Secret Service agent,’ the president joked.

He also said when asked if he feared flying on Air Force One – which is a Boeing – ‘I don’t sit by the door.’

‘I’m only kidding. I shouldn’t even joke about it,’ Biden added.

Biden confirmed that he was not changing the iconic plane’s color scheme, something Trump tried to accomplish when he was in office.

‘Yeah, we’re not doing that,’ Obama chimed in.

Colbert also asked Biden to push back on concerns that he’s too old to serve a second term.

‘I know I don’t look much over forty, I know that,’ Biden replied.

‘You know, this last guy that I ran against and am running against again this time, is – his ideas are from the 18th, 19th century. No, I’m serious,’ the president also said. ‘This is the way he talks about when he says he’s gonna suspend the Constitution, all the things he said.’

The president made a similar point about Trump during his State of the Union address.

All three presidents and Colbert donned Biden’s trademark aviators to conclude the show, with Biden saying he was a man who ‘loves two things: Ray Ban sunglasses and ice cream.’

‘By the way, Dark Brandon is real,’ he said of his alter ego – an online creation who’s more sinister by nature.

 

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Lizzo was there and performed her hit ‘About Damn Time’ ahead of the presidents’ arrival onstage, while The Mindy Project’s Mindy Kaling played the role of emcee.

She joked that it was nice to be in a room with ‘so many rich people’ and said it felt good to support a president who ‘openly’ promises to ‘raise your taxes.’

Vogue editor-in-chief and Conde Nast executive Anna Wintour was spotted in the audience.

Kaling, 44, also said – looking upon Biden, 81, Clinton, 77, and Obama, the youngest at 62 – that while she was getting older, she looked like a ‘cast member of Euphoria’ compared to them.

HBO’s Europhia is a high school drama, though most of the cast is in their 20s.

Other entertainers included Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, who sang a soulful rendition of Get by With a Little Help From My Friends, Cynthia Erivo, and Lea Michele, who sang Don’t Rain on My Parade from Funny Girl, a show she starred in on Broadway.

Meanwhile, outside the venue, many more pro-Palestinian protesters had swarmed Radio City Music Hall.

Biden was called a ‘war criminal’ by those gathered, with one demonstrator holding up a sign that read, ‘Joe Biden Retire B****,’ a message aimed at the 81-year-old leader.

One video, shared by conservative commentator Charlie Kirk, shows a man getting shoved by members of the crowd and asking for police to assist.

‘Democrats you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!’ protesters shouted out, with drum beats helping them keep the time.

The trio of presidents have been at the venue for most of the afternoon – taping a podcast with comedians Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett for an episode of their SmartLess podcast.

Videos shared to social media by attendees show loud music playing as donors took their seats, with audience members seemingly unaware of the chaos happening outside.

Earlier Thursday, Biden arrived in New York with Obama in tow to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
On the flight Obama could be heard briefly saying hello to the White House press corps, as press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters the conversation was off the record.

Obama’s involvement with the Biden campaign comes after several reports said the 62-year-old ex-president has been sounding the alarm about Biden’s reelection prospects.

On Wednesday, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed rumors that Trump was planning to attend the wake Thursday at the Massapequa Funeral Home in New York

Earlier Thursday Trump attended the wake of slain officer Diller at the Massapequa Funeral Home on Long Island.

Diller was shot and killed in the line of duty in Queens on Monday.

Guy Rivera, the suspect arrested in the slaying, has been arrested 21 times.

On Monday, officer Diller was shot and killed in Queens during a routine traffic stop – he leaves behind a wife and one-year-old son

Time Magazine’s cover story last week chronicled two in-person meetings Obama had with Biden last year – one in June and then a follow-up in December, when the ex-president didn’t see the president’s campaign operation improve.

‘He expressed concern the re-election campaign was behind schedule in building out its field operations, and bottlenecked by Biden’s insistence on relying upon an insular group of advisers clustered in the West Wing,’ Time wrote, citing a Democratic insider.

A follow-up story in The New York Times Tuesday said that Obama is regularly dialing Biden – but he’s also phoning White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients too.

A senior aide told the paper that Obama has ‘always’ been worried about a Biden loss to Trump, and so he’s prepared to ‘eke it out’ alongside his former VP through Election Day in November.

Obama’s reported warnings are similar to what Clinton was saying behind closed doors ahead of the 2016 presidential election, which saw his wife, Democrat Hillary Clinton, shockingly lose to Trump, who had never held elected office.

In the book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign authors Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen detailed how Bill Clinton feared that his wife and her campaign aides were taking some support for granted.

He suggested she go into communities that wouldn’t necessarily naturally vote for the Democrat just to show she was making an effort.

‘He knew there was some power just in showing up,’ co-author Allen said in a 2017 interview with ABC News.

Obama has reportedly advised Biden that his field operations are being built out too slowly – bottlenecked by the president’s reliance on a ‘insular group of advisers clustered in the West Wing,’ Time said.

During Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign – which he successfully won against Republican Mitt Romney – he had hired 900-plus staffers by summer.

The Biden campaign, which is headquarted in Biden’s adopted hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, ended 2023 with just around 70 paid employees, though there’s a goal to hire 350.

Biden’s team said that the campaign is also planning to rely on staff at the Democratic National Committee to aid the state-level effort.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.

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