Stars and other celebrities showed for Joe Biden’s reelection campaign on Monday, with a Broadway for Biden fundraiser in which the president quipped about his age but also put the campaign in stark terms.
“I’m running because democracy is at stake, because [in] 2024 democracy is on the ballot once again,” Biden said at the event at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater, per a pool report. “And let there be no question: Donald Trump and his MAGA Republicans are determined to destroy American democracy. And I will always defend, protect and fight for our democracy.”
Biden also chided Trump for his refusal to criticize Vladimir Putin. “I will not side with dictators like Putin,” Biden said.
The event was announced last month, with appearances by Josh Groban, Ben Platt, Sara Bareilles, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Laura Benanti. The event tickets were priced from $250 for rear mezzanine seats to $7,500 for orchestra center front.
The event was hosted by Broadway producers and supporters Jeffrey Seller, Thomas Kail, Luz and Luis Miranda, Bruce Cohen and Gabe Catone, Tom Healy and Fred P. Hochberg, Barbara Marcin and Orin Kramer, Stacey and Eric Mindich, Karen & Gary Rose, Janet and Marvin Rosen, Alexandra and Eric Schoenberg, Ted Snowdon and Duffy Violante, Henry Tisch and Sean Walsh.
Biden also got in a quip about his age, the focus of endless attention as polls show overwhelming numbers of voters are concerned that, at 80, he’s too old to be seeking another term.
“A lot of people seem focused on my age,” Biden said. “I get it. Believe me, I know it more than anyone.” But he said that he “knew what to do” with the ongoing Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine and with threats to democracy. “That’s why I’m running,” he said.
“We will have saved American democracy,” Biden said. “I am more optimistic about the future of this country than in the 800 years I have served.” That got big laughs.
Biden has avoided trekking to Los Angeles to raise campaign cash as the writers and actors strikes drag on. Instead, he has turned to Broadway for the type of large-scale event that have been typical in past cycles. A Broadway for Biden concert was staged in October, 2020, just weeks before the election that year.