Joe Biden lines up backing from Paramount CEO after losing bundler in wake of debate performance

Key Points
  • Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos has offered to help former Vice President Joe Biden in the battle for fundraising supremacy in the 2020 Democratic primary.
  • The development shows that some of Biden's top financial supporters are shrugging off his headline-making battle with rival 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris at the Democratic debate.
  • Not all of Biden's financiers are sticking with him, though. Tom McInerney, a San Francisco lawyer, informed Biden's team on June 20, that he can no longer help him raise campaign cash.
Former Vice President Joe Biden takes the stage for the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate on June 27, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos is looking to help former Vice President Joe Biden in the battle for fundraising supremacy in the 2020 Democratic primary, CNBC has learned.

Gianopulos is looking to host a fundraiser for Biden in the coming months, company spokesman Chris Petrikin confirmed.

"Jim is a longtime supporter of the vice president and has offered to help with his campaign," he said. "The possibility of an event this month was discussed, but the schedules didn't work out and they are discussing an event later this summer or early fall."

The development shows that some of Biden's top financial supporters are shrugging off his headline-making battle with rival 2020 candidate Sen. Kamala Harris at the Democratic debate that brought up his record on busing and his relationship with segregationists.

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Sen. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden spar over record on race

Not all of Biden's financiers are sticking with him, though. Tom McInerney, a San Francisco lawyer, informed Biden's team on June 20, that he can no longer help him raise campaign cash to compete in the 2020 race.

Biden is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on July 18, his campaign recently announced. He is expected to hold numerous donor gatherings while in town, according to people familiar with the matter. While he was in L.A. in May, one of Biden's events brought in over $700,000 for the campaign.

The campaign has also said he will be heading back to New York on July 11. According to organizers with direct knowledge of the matter, at least one event will be hosted by veteran real estate executive Jeff Levine and Jay Snyder, a principal at HBJ Investments, which provides capital to start-up companies. During Biden's previous trip to New York, all of his fundraisers combined were estimated to raise just over $1 million.

Levine, Snyder and a spokesperson for Biden did not return a request for comment.

Paramount Pictures Chairman & CEO Jim Gianopulos speaks onstage at at the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on April 4, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images

A Morning Consult poll of Democratic primary voters conducted after the debate shows Biden still with a substantial lead over his competitors. However, a CNN survey has Biden with only a five-point advantage over Harris.

Biden, like most other candidates in the primary field, had yet to announce his second quarter fundraising total. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised $24.8 million in the second quarter, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raked in $18 million.

Gianopulos, a longtime Hollywood executive who was once the head of Fox's movie studios, has previously held money-making events for some Democrats close to Biden, often drawing some of the wealthiest moguls in the business. In 2014, he threw an event for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that included the likes of Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Brad Grey.

Cuomo has said Biden gives Democrats the best chance of defeating President Donald Trump in the general election and privately has offered to open his fundraising network for the former Delaware lawmaker.

Also in 2014, Biden attended a gathering at Gianopulos' Los Angeles home for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The movie executive also contributed to former President Barack Obama's first run for president in 2008.

Gianopulos' intentions to back Biden haven't stopped him from writing checks to at least one of his rivals. He sent $2,700 to Harris' presidential campaign in the first quarter, a Federal Election Commission record shows. He also attended a fundraiser for Harris in February that was hosted by Universal Film and Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell.

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I would eliminate Donald Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy: Joe Biden