Entries in George Clooney (4)


Obama Says George Clooney Friendship Born in Sudan, Not Hollywood

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- President Obama’s reelection campaign has benefited immensely from the backing of much of Hollywood’s elite, but few share a closer relationship with him than George Clooney.  In an interview to be aired Monday, the president contends those ties were born out of shared policy vision before assuming the Oval Office.

“The truth is we got to know each other because of a substantive issue,” the president says.  “He is a terrific advocate on behalf of the people of Darfur, and to the people of Sudan who’ve been brutalized for a long time.”

Speaking with CBS’ Entertainment Tonight, Obama recounts laboring with Clooney on the troubled region when he was a senator.

“That was an issue that I was working together on a bipartisan basis, and George, who had traveled there, done documentaries there, and was very well-informed, came to testify in Congress,” he says.  “And so we got to know each other, and he is a good man, and a good friend.”

Clooney has become a permanent fixture of humanitarian movements regarding Sudan, which the United Nations estimates still houses nearly 2.5 million displaced individuals after years of strife.  In March, Clooney was arrested outside Washington’s Sudanese embassy in protest of the ongoing turmoil.

Despite the close relationship, Obama says the actor and film producer is acutely aware of the image problems involved with getting too close to the White House.

“He’s very protective about not bothering me.  And he’s also sensitive to the fact that if he’s around a lot, then somehow it’ll be tagged as ‘Obama hanging out with Hollywood stars,’ and that’s not who he is,” he says.

Regardless, Clooney has contributed significantly to Obama’s reelection campaign, most recently attending a star-studded fundraiser at his home in March that drew in $15 million.

Obama’s ET interview comes as he faces mounting criticism for a string of recent softball interviews with entertainment media and local television outlets outside the Washington press.  On Fox News Sunday Sunday morning, Obama campaign man and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the interviews.

“The notion that this president is somehow not doing interviews is ridiculous.  Not long ago, we were answering questions and charges that somehow Obama was over-exposed,” he said.

Republicans have attempted to pin the campaign on this point, with Mitt Romney taking the unusual step of making himself available to the press twice recently.  However, Romney himself sat down with People magazine last week, joined by running mate Paul Ryan and their families.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Shoots Hoops with George Clooney, Tobey Maguire

File photo. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(RENO, Nev.) -- After a night of hobnobbing with Hollywood’s rich and famous, President Obama hit the basketball court this morning for a friendly face-off with actors George Clooney and Tobey Maguire and members of the White House staff, officials said.

The game took place inside the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center at the Rancho Park Golf Course in Los Angeles just miles from the Beverly Hilton where Obama spent the night. Cameras were not allowed inside.

“Who won the game?” shouted CBS’ Mark Knoller as the president shook hands with supporters along a ropeline.

Obama momentarily recoiled, asking “What basketball game? What are you talking about?”

Then the president recalled with a smile, “As you might expect, George and I won, but I think we are all winners because nobody got hurt.” (In a November 2010 game of hoops, the president required 12 stitches on his lip after being struck by a wayward elbow.)

Clooney on Thursday evening hosted a multi-million-dollar campaign fundraiser for Obama on the basketball court at his sprawling Studio City, Calif., home.

Obama joked in his remarks that the two men have a history of talking tough about who’s the better shot on the court.

“This guy has been talking smack about his basketball game ever since I’ve known him,” Obama told an elite crowd of 150 donors, who each paid $40,000 to attend.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Touts Support for Gay Marriage at Star-Studded Fundraiser

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- President Obama told a star-studded crowd at the Hollywood home of actor George Clooney Thursday night that his decision to support same-sex marriage was a “logical extension of what America is supposed to be.”

The president said his newly-publicized position crystallizes the difference between his vision for the future of the country and that of Republicans.

“It grew directly out of this difference in visions,” Obama explained.  “Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly?  Does that make us strong?  I believe it does.”

The president introduced the issue of same-sex marriage by simply noting “Obviously, yesterday we made some news,” drawing applause from the crowd of roughly 150 guests.

Thursday night’s posh dinner confirmed the Obama campaign’s fundraising prowess.  The president raked in a record-breaking $15 million from the $40,000 a plate dinner, according to host Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.

In addition to the pricey ticket cost, a large chunk of the donations for the event were gathered through a low-dollar campaign contest that offered supporters the chance to have dinner at Clooney’s house.

The two lucky sweepstakes winners were joined by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who came out in droves for the event.  The guest list ranged from actors Tobey Maguire and Salma Hayek to designers Diane Von Furstenberg and Trina Turk, to songstress Barbra Streisand and comedian Billy Crystal.

And then, of course, there was Clooney, one of the president’s most prominent supporters.

“Let’s face it we raise a lot of money because everybody loves George.  They like me.  They love him,” the president joked.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


George Clooney's Obama Fundraiser Expected to Earn a Record $12M

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama’s fundraiser tonight at George Clooney’s house is a sold out affair. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter says the fundraiser is expected to garner $12 million for the campaign, making it the single-biggest presidential fundraiser in U.S. history.

Hollywood types including celebrities, studio heads and industry executives each coughed up $40,000 for a chance to dine with the president at Clooney's home in Studio City.  

The $12 million comes from the six million raised to attend dinner at Clooney's, plus an additional six million from an online sweepstakes sponsored by the Obama campaign, where contributors could win two seats at the head table with Clooney.

Before Obama gets to Los Angeles, he will attend two fundraisers in the Seattle area. Combined, those events will bring in an estimated $3 million.

Proceeds from all events go to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account of the Obama Campaign, the Democratic National Committee and several state Democratic Parties.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio