Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Biden’s presidential debate performance sends Democrats into a panic

By 37ci3 Jun28,2024

ATLANTA – President Joe Biden should have put the nation’s mind at ease about his physical and mental abilities with his Thursday night debate display.

But since the start of the debate, Biden, 81, has struggled to even speak, mostly calling out a weak, hoarse voice. In the opening minutes, he repeatedly tripped over his words, misspoke and lost his train of thought.

In one of the most notable moments, Biden ended his unfocused ramblings by saying, “We finally defeated Medicare,” before the moderators cut him off and switched to former President Donald Trump.

Even as Biden warms up and the debate picks up steam, he’s struggled to pull punches against Trump, check out everything Trump said as he unleashed a barrage of bad news.

Trump also touched on Biden, at one point saying he didn’t understand what Biden said about the border.

“I don’t know if he knows what he’s talking about either,” Trump said.

About an hour into the debate, a Biden aide and others familiar with his condition offered an explanation for his noise: He has a cold.

But Biden had problems other than his voice shaking. When he wasn’t talking, he often looked into the distance. Trump often steamrolled over Biden, accusing him of being a criminal and peddling disinformation — repeatedly Biden didn’t respond, though he did respond with one-liners a few times.

The Biden campaign acknowledged that the debate would be a critical moment in the election, and officials had hoped for it. shake up the race in his favour. Most polls have found the race neck and neck, with razor-thin margins that have changed little in the months since the New York jury found Trump. He is found guilty of 34 serious crimes.

Questions about Biden’s age and there is weakness lowered the voting numbers for months. Public concerns are growing deceptively edited videossome have gone viral cut out the appropriate parts of an event causes it to appear as if Biden is walking or confused. It was Biden’s first opportunity to dispel the story since his State of the Union speech.

Instead of a fresh start, many Democrats saw it as a moment of panic.

“The Democrats just committed collective suicide,” said one party strategist who works on presidential campaigns. “Biden sounds hoarse, looks tired and is babbling. It reaffirms everything the voters have already accepted. President Biden cannot win. This dispute is a nail in the political coffin.”

“It’s hard to argue that we didn’t nominate someone else,” said a Democratic consultant who works on down-ballot races.

As the debate progressed, Biden grew stronger.

“Only one of us is a convicted felon, and I’m looking at him,” Biden told Trump. It was a moment that tested particularly well in the Biden campaign’s internal real-time polling during the debate, according to a person familiar with the vote.

An aide said at the start of the debate that it was “not an ideal start” for Biden, but there was no “mass panic” at campaign headquarters in Delaware.

The muting of the candidates’ microphones at the debate, a stipulation agreed to by both campaigns before the debate, added a new dimension to the face-off. The first Biden-Trump meeting in 2020 was marked by repeated interruptions by Trump and moments of frustration for Biden.

– Are you silent, man? Biden complained at the first Cleveland debate.

A reaction occurs

“I think the Democrats are wondering who Barry Goldwater is who can come in tomorrow and tell the president to step aside,” said Ben Proto, chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party.

After the key Watergate tapes were made public in 1974, Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., along with other prominent lawmakers, went to President Richard Nixon and told Nixon that he would be impeached by the Senate and should step aside. he did.

Biden’s campaign defended his performance, saying he offered a “positive and winning vision” for America.

“On the other side of the stage, it was Donald Trump who offered a dark and backwards window into what America would look like if he stepped back into the White House: a country where women are forced to beg for the health care they need to survive. A country that puts the interests of billionaires ahead of working people.” Biden campaign chairwoman Jen O’Malley Dillon said in a statement, “And a former president who has not promised to accept the results of a free and fair election not once, not twice, but three times this November.”

Some Democrats also defended Biden’s presidency more broadly after the debate, pointing to Trump’s policies.

“One thing this debate won’t change is Trump’s instinct to sell out anyone to make a quick buck or put his image on a steak, a golf course or even the Bible,” said Brandon Weathersby, a spokesman for the supporter. Biden America’s Bridge to the 21st Century super PAC. “Trump puts himself first every time, and that won’t change if he’s president again.”

Trump, meanwhile, answered questions of his own about whether he’s diminished by age, including his struggle to stay on topic. his squirming when talking. Biden put it forward Trump “squealed” After his defeat in the 2020 election and unstable, he retweeted it on Thursday night.

Trump often gave wild answers of his own and sometimes seemed to make up factoids and numbers.

“In four years, I’ve had the best environmental numbers ever, and my best environmental people gave those statistics before I went on stage,” Trump said.

Trump has also said he would lower insulin prices for seniors, but it was Biden who signed the law that lowered out-of-pocket costs to $35 a month for people on Medicare in 2022 and covered all insulin products.

Setting the scene for fall

The first debate during the 2020 election cycle was in early September, meaning the first general election debate of 2024 was significantly earlier than usual – more than two months before Labor Day, which is considered the point at which most voters start paying attention. presidential races.

“The debate is changing the numbers,” said Matt Gorman, a longtime Republican strategist for Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina’s presidential campaign. “And with that early — and not until next September — you’re stuck with the story for four long months.

“And the performance of one and the other will set the tone for the next,” he said.

For months, Trump’s team has sought to cast Biden’s mental acuity, a strategy at odds with how campaigns generally lead debates, to set expectations and shape their opponents as skilled debaters.

Expectations for Biden were low, and by almost all estimates he failed to clear them.

“Biden just had to beat himself up; “Unfortunately, the stumbling and weakened Joe Biden, known to the world, made Trump look competent and energetic,” said a former Trump campaign official who is not working for the election campaign this year. “I expect there will be some loud calls from Democrats for change at the top of the ticket.”

“The floor was too low for Biden,” the person said. “Biden’s floor appears to be 6 feet under after debate performance.”

The 90-minute debate covered a variety of topics, but many of the top topics centered on topics that have been on the campaign trail for the past few months.

Trump hit Biden on two big policy battles that dogged his campaign: immigration and inflation.

Since Biden took office, 15 million jobs have been created and the unemployment rate is at a relatively low 4%, but consumer prices remain high, and they have provided a consistent line of attack from the Trump campaign and Republicans more broadly.

In one heated exchange, Trump bluntly said he “caused inflation.” Biden responded by saying that there was less inflation under Trump because he crashed the economy.

“When I came into office, there was no inflation,” Biden said before that response — a quote Republicans quickly used as evidence that all of the current price increases happened on Biden’s watch.

Trump continued to attack Biden over his border policy, which he used as one of his biggest attack lines throughout his campaign. This often includes reinforcement every time an undocumented migrant commits a crime, although the data is a migrant crime wave.

We have a border that is the most dangerous place anywhere in the world,” Trump said.

Earlier this year, Trump used his influence over Republicans in Congress preventing a bilateral border agreement Supported by Biden.

Biden also tried to take a jab at Jan. 6, trying to build on the oft-discussed idea that Trump’s return to the White House would be a threat to democracy.

“He encouraged people to go up to Capitol Hill,” Biden said. “He sat there for three hours being begged by his vice president and many of his colleagues on the Republican side to do something.”

Trump deflected by claiming that Biden should be “ashamed” of arresting those involved in the attempted coup.

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By 37ci3

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