Vote 2024: Biden works to convince wary donors at Greenwich fundraiser

Instead of pitching voters, he worked to convince big money donors to open their wallets.

John Craven

Jun 3, 2024, 10:54 AM

Updated 9 days ago


President Joe Biden traveled to Greenwich on Monday. But not for a campaign rally.
Instead of pitching voters, he worked to convince big money donors to open their wallets.
News 12's John Craven's earlier coverage:
Top Democrats – including Gov. Ned Lamont, plus current and past members of Congress – attended the event, hosted by former HBO CEO Richard Plepler. There was also some star power. Television producer Shonda Rhimes from “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Bridgerton” and the Oval Office thriller “Scandal” was there, too.
But the guests who really mattered were millionaire donors, who are increasingly worried about Biden’s chances against former President Donald Trump.
“We know this election will be close, contentious, hard-fought,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. “And resources will be hugely valuable to draw the contrast.”
This visit comes at a critical time for Biden. His poll numbers remain stagnant, especially in swing states, leaving some big dollar donors worried.
Lamont is urging his wealthy neighbors to get off the fence – and pull out their checkbooks.
“I’m doing everything I can to get Joe Biden elected again,” said Lamont. “The difference between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is night and day. And these are our choices; you've got to make up your mind.”
The Biden campaign enjoys a big cash advantage over Trump, but Republicans are catching up.
Biden and the Democratic National Committee reported $84 million on hand as of April 30 – compared to Trump and the Republican National Committee’s $49 million – according to the Federal Election Commission.
But the presumptive GOP nominee reported raising almost twice the amount Biden did during that same period.
Trump’s criminal conviction last week appears to be drawing in even more cash. His campaign says it raised $53 million in the 24 hours after he was convicted of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in New York.
For some swing-state voters, Trump’s legal troubles only deepened their support. Millicent Abbey is a Black woman in Georgia – a voting bloc that was critical to Biden’s 2020 win.
“I love you Trump,” Abbey told CNN after Trump’s conviction. “They say, ‘Trump this; Trump that. He’s going to jail.’ This and that. Who cares?”
Trump himself told News 12 last month that he considers voters like Abbey, and blue states like Connecticut, on the table. During his trial, he campaigned in the South Bronx and New Jersey, two Democratic strongholds.
“I think really what the strategy is just to talk about the four years we had,” Trump told News 12 at his Bronx rally. “We had the greatest economy ever. We rebuilt our military.”
Connecticut Democrats say the reality is far different than Trump paints it.
“People need to be reminded about the Trump chaos and demagoguery,” said Blumenthal. “Even though they may be aware of it, the choice is what’s important.”
Back in Greenwich, Lamont said extra campaign cash raised here will help Biden make the case for his own accomplishments, including the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and student loan relief.
“President Biden has been a great friend for Connecticut,” the governor said. “We’ve got about 180 people there, saying thank you for what you’ve done. Everything from speeding up our commutes by 10, 20 minutes over the next decade or so.”

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