UPDATE: Obama Defends Biden After Protesters Disrupt Biden-Obama-Clinton $25 Million ‘Grassroots’ Fundraiser in New York City

Activists protesting in support of Hamas–and one against nuclear war with Russia–repeatedly disrupted a $25 million Democrat fundraiser featuring Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City Thursday night. Through their disruptions, the protesters took control of the event, forcing Biden, Obama and Clinton into an extended discussion about what the protesters wanted them to talk about as the Democrats are facing an internal war of their own this election year between the party’s old pro-Israel base and their new pro-Hamas base.

At one point, an irritated Obama defended his former Vice President Biden from the hecklers, saying, “No, no listen. You can’t just talk and not listen… That’s what the other side does. And it is possible for us to understand that it is possible to have moral clarity and have deeply held beliefs, but still recognize that the world is complicated and it is hard to solve these problems. The reason why I originally selected Joe Biden to be my vice president. The reason that I think he was one of the best vice president we’ve ever had, and the reason why I think he has been an outstanding president is because he has moral conviction and clarity. But he’s also willing to acknowledge that the world is complicated, and that he’s willing to listen to all sides in this debate and every other debate and try to see if we can find common ground . That’s the kind of president I want.”

Former US President Barack Obama and former US President Bill Clinton cheer for US President Joe Biden during a campaign fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on March 28, 2024. Brendan Smialowski, AFP Via Getty Images

Earlier Thursday in a post on X Twitter, Joe Biden laughably called the fundraiser with tickets going for upwards of $500,000, “grassroots.”

The AP reported on the price points and entertainers for the fundraiser (excerpt):

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was up first to warm up the sold-out crowd of about 5,000 supporters. Entertainers, too, had their time onstage. Lizzo belted out her hit “About Damn Time” and emcee Mindy Kaling joked that it was nice to be in a room with “so many rich people,” adding that she loved that they were supporting a president who “openly” promises to “raise your taxes.”

The hourslong fundraiser had different tiers of access depending on a donor’s generosity. Other celebrities included Queen Latifah, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo and Lea Michele. Tickets sold for as low as $225.

More money got donors more intimate time with the presidents. A photo with all three was $100,000. A donation of $250,000 earned donors access to one reception, and $500,000 got them into an even more exclusive gathering.

“But the party doesn’t stop there,” according to the campaign. First lady Jill Biden and DJ D-Nice were hosting an afterparty at Radio City Music Hall with 500 guests.

The highlight of the night was Biden, Obama and Clinton sitting down for a group interview with CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert.

NBC News reported Biden addressed the protesters’ concerns while Obama got irritated and lectured them on civility (excerpt):

But the discussion was interrupted at least five times by protesters. Colbert acknowledged one protester and asked Biden about the U.S. role in ensuring a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Biden said that more needed to be done to get relief into Gaza, but added that Israel’s very existence was at stake. The president also discussed diplomatic efforts toward a two-state solution. His response was met with a standing ovation and chants of “four more years.”

Obama sternly addressed a protester when he was interrupted, saying, “You can’t just talk and not listen.” He added, “that’s what the other side does.”

Biden’s team has taken steps to minimize disruptions, including making events smaller and withholding exact locations longer than usual, after a January speech where he was interrupted about a dozen times by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Videos posted of the protesters show them being quickly hustled out by security:

“You’re all out of your f***ing minds!”, yelled a woman protesting against nuclear war with Russia. Video posted by New York Magazine’s Shawn McCreesh:

Outside Radio City, communist and jihadist protesters gathered to foment revolution.

https://twitter.com/answercoalition/status/1773466612600877500

VIP pass posted by an attendee:

https://twitter.com/lindyli/status/1773511348250398989

UPDATE: Excerpts from pool report by Christian Datoc on the response to the protesters shows how they were allowed to take control of the course of the discussion:

SC: President Obama, President Clinton what do you miss about being president? Is it nice to live in the White House or do you always feel like you’re in a museum? For you also, President Biden, is that a nice place to live?
BC: I loved living there. The last time I walked out, the day before I left 
******* at this point the first protester (whistling and yelling obscenities about Russia and Ukraine) interrupted the conversation, followed by other pro-Gaza protesters, but the group continued.
SC: “Excuse me, Mr. President. For people who are watching at home on the feed, you may not be able to hear but there’s some protesters here. There are some protesters here who are no doubt related to the protests we saw across the street. Everyone in here saw the protests across the street before we came in, and this is a subject I was going to get to later but as long as it’s been brought up here, Mr. Biden, I wanted to ask you this question. As the leader of the United States and as the leader of the alliance of democratic nations, and also aware of the moral leadership that the United States provides the entire world. There are people outside and people in this room I’m sure, who have passionate divisions about what the best course of action is for the crisis in Israel in Gaza right now. What do you believe the United States’ role should be going forward to ensure the most peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Israel and for Gaza?
**** more protesters
JB: 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. We’ve got to get more food and medicine, supplies into the Palestinians. But we can’t forget, Israel is in a position where its very existence as at stake. You have to have all those people. They weren’t killed. They were massacred. They were massacred. And imagine if that had happened in the United States and tying a mom and her daughter together, pouring kerosene on them, burning them to death. It’s understandable Israel has such a profound anger and Hamas is still there. But we must in fact, stop the effort that is resulting in significant deaths of innocent civilians, particularly children.”
**** more Gaza protesters
“I won’t go into detail now. But look, I’ve been working with the Saudis and with all the other Arab countries, including Egypt and Jordan and Qatar. They’re prepared to fully recognize Israel. Fully recognize Israel for the first time. But there has to be a post Gaza plan, and there has to be a train to a two state solution. It doesn’t have to occur today, but there has to be a progression, and I think we can do that. I think we can do that. That’s why we’re seeing more avenues open into Israel  excuse me, into Gaza to bring food and medicine and there’s much more we can do. But I’m confident it can be done and Israel’s integrity, Israel’s security, where Israel can be preserved.”
**** CHANTS OF “4 MORE YEARS”
BO: “You asked earlier about being in the White House. No, no you’ll see there is some relevance here. It is a lonely seat. One of the things I miss is the incredible team that you have around. Some of the smartest, most dedicated, selfless people who are out sacrificing
there, putting heroic Herculean efforts into just trying to make the world work.”
JB: “Every time you show up to the White House, they all come to say thank you. I’m not joking. The affection is overwhelming.”
BO: Well, I appreciate that. So you have this incredible team, and I think Bill and I we’ve talked about it, that’s one of the things you miss most. But although it’s a team, you’re still ultimately the person who has to make the calls. And one of the realities of the presidency is that the world has a lot of joy and beauty, but it also has a lot of tragedy and cruelty. And, there’s history there, and you don’t start from scratch. You don’t have any easy answers to really hard problems. And I think people understandably oftentimes want to feel a certain surety in terms of how those decisions are made. But a president doesn’t have that luxury. 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 .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. So that is not an easy task, and so the reason
*** more protesters
BO: “No, no listen. You can’t just talk and not listen… That’s what the other side does. And it is possible for us to understand that it is possible to have moral clarity and have deeply held beliefs, but still recognize that the world is complicated and it is hard to solve these problems.
The reason why I originally selected Joe Biden to be my vice president. The reason that I think he was one of the best vice president we’ve ever had, and the reason why I think he has been an outstanding president is because he has moral conviction and clarity. But he’s also willing to acknowledge that the world is complicated, and that he’s willing to listen to all sides in this debate and every other debate and try to see if we can find common ground . That’s the kind of president I want.”
BC: “I know there are many other things we need to talk about. I believe that this is one of the most important reasons to elect President Biden. And I’m going to tell you why. Because he genuinely cares about preserving the existence of Israel, which Hamas doesn’t. And he genuinely cares about giving the Palestinians a decent state of self governance and the support they need for self determination.”
“Look, the world we live in is hard because you have to keep two apparently conflicting ideas in your head at the same time. But don’t forget ,those of you who particularly if you’re younger and all you know is the Israeli government denying the rights of the Palestinians… Joe Biden says he wants a two-state solution. We all lived through the same things. He’s not making this up. We lived this, and you should trust them to work for it. To work to ease the suffering of the totally innocent Palestinian citizens and not to allow Israel’s security to be lost over a bitter difference between the legitimacy of the Palestinians’ to statehood, which we agree with all three of us.

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Kristinn Taylor has contributed to The Gateway Pundit for over ten years. Mr. Taylor previously wrote for Breitbart, worked for Judicial Watch and was co-leader of the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com. He studied journalism in high school, visited the Newseum and once met David Brinkley.

You can email Kristinn Taylor here, and read more of Kristinn Taylor's articles here.

 

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