Western press: “Biden's horrific 'car crash' debate performance”

10:18 29.06.2024 •

The Democratic party has been thrown into a full-blown panic about the 2024 general election by a disastrous debate performance from a meandering and mumbling Joe Biden.

Behind the scenes there are calls to replace the 81-year-old president on the ticket after his dismal showing against Donald Trump on Thursday night where he lost his train of thought and stumbled over his words multiple times.

Immediately after taking the stage, Biden's voice was hoarse and he repeatedly cleared his throat, and he continued to go down hill during the 90-minute primetime face-off on CNN.

US President Joe Biden and former US President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participate in the first presidential debate of the 2024 elections.

The two men did not shake hands after they entered the stage, Biden arriving first and then Trump. They simply stood at their podiums, starting straight ahead, notes ‘The Daily Mail’.

It is the first of two debates the two presidential candidates agreed to.

The two men are on stage with only a pad, pencil and a bottle of water, without the assist of the teleprompter and will not be allowed to chat with aides during commercial breaks.

The microphones are muted automatically when it is not their turn to speak.

There is no audience in the room – just the debate's two moderators.

For the 81-year-old Biden, it comes down to his health and fitness. He needs to be energetic and on point with his talking points. Republicans have successfully used his age to raise questions about his mental capabilities. And Biden looks as if he's aged, walking with a gait and moving stiffly.

'I don’t know if high-level conversations are happening right now about Biden’s concerning performance, but it would be political malpractice to pretend tonight advanced the Biden campaign,' wrote MSNBC contributor and Democratic strategist Max Burns on social media.

Democrats in full-blown panic over feeble Biden's disaster debate: Party members call for Joe to be REPLACED after 'game changer' showdown with Trump where he glitched after MINUTES.

Joe Biden immediately faced calls to drop out of the presidential race following his catastrophic debate with Donald Trump last night as the 81-year-old stopped off at a Waffle House after delivering a desperate performance in Atlanta.

Biden's campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt declared early this morning: 'Of course he's not dropping out.'

But a torrent of his own party members and strategists are clamoring for their aged president to throw in the towel off the back of the car-crash debate, with one anonymous Democrat telling NBC it was 'time to talk about an open convention and a new Democratic nominee'.

'Biden is about to face a crescendo of calls to step aside,' one Biden-backing strategist told The New York Times, while another Democrat put it even more flatly to the Washington Post.

'We're so f***ed,' they said. 'He has great material. He just cannot deliver a single line.'

David Plouffe – a Democratic strategist who worked on Barack Obama's 2008 campaign – told MSNBC' Biden's showing was 'kind of a DEFCON1 moment' – a reference to the highest alert level used by America's defence community.

Plouffe also remarked that Trump and Biden looked '30 years apart', despite an age gap of just three years between them.

One political analyst summed it up in the hours following the torturous 90-minute ordeal: 'There's going to be a lot of bedwetting (among Democrats) tonight,' notes ‘The Daily Mail’.

Trump meanwhile was seen contorting his face in shock and derision at Biden's confused meandering and frequent gaffes in the debate, at one point telling millions of Americans watching at home: 'I really don't know what he [Biden] just said.

'He's not equipped to be president. You know it and I know it.'

Biden sounded tired and hoarse, frequently stumbled over his words and on one occasion completely lost his train of thought and trailed off into silence, prompting moderator Jake Tapper to dive in and rescue him.

One senior Democratic strategist told Reuters after the debate that it would be unprecedented for an incumbent to pull out this late in the election cycle, but that there would be calls for Biden to do just that as Democrats fretted over the stark display of the president's failing faculties.

'I think the panic has set in,' David Axelrod, a longtime advisor to former US president Barack Obama, said on CNN after the debate about Biden's performance.

'And I think you're going to hear discussions that, I don't know will lead to anything, but there are going to be discussions about whether he should continue.'

Another longtime strategist told NBC: 'The chatter of replacement is absolutely going to explode. There is no coming back from this disaster.'

Former special presidential adviser-turned CNN commentator Van Jones said that even though he 'loved' Joe Biden, his debate performance was 'painful'.

'There are people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now,' Jones said.

'We're still far from our convention and there is time for this party to figure out a different way forward if he will allow us to do that but that was not what we needed from Joe Biden.

'He had a test tonight to restore the confidence of the country, of the base and he failed.'

Those comments were echoed by former Democrat senator Claire McCaskill who told MSNBC: 'My job right now is to be really honest. Joe Biden had one thing he had to do tonight. And he didn't do it.

'He had one thing he had to accomplish. And that was reassure America that he was up to the job at his age. And he failed at that tonight.'

This debate was historic for many reasons, but not least because it is taking place before each man is formally nominated at their respective conventions. The Democratic National Convention is set to convene August 19 in Chicago, notes CNN.

Democrats have spent much of the past year handwringing about Biden’s chances of beating Trump in an election many view as an existential one that will decide the very survival of American democracy. But Biden himself was determined to be the one to take on Trump, at one point even saying directly: “If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I’d be running.”

No serious Democratic challengers stepped up to run against Biden, and at this point in the campaign he’d have to decide to step aside if Democrats were to pick another nominee.


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