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Biden Stumbles, Trump Repeats False Claims in Chaotic US Presidential Debate

Trump & Biden faced-off in the first US presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle last night /AFP/Getty Images

Atlanta, Georgia – Before Thursday evening, many Americans had expressed concerns about Joe Biden’s age and fitness for office. To say that this debate did not put those concerns to rest may be one of the greatest understatements of the year.

The president came into the debate with a low bar to clear, and he stumbled. He was flat. He was rambling. He was unclear.

Roughly midway through the debate, the Biden campaign told reporters that the president was battling a cold – an attempt to explain his raspy voice. That may be so, but it also sounded like an excuse.

For 90 minutes, more often than not, Joe Biden was on the ropes. Particularly early in the evening, some of his answers were nonsensical. He ended one answer by saying, “We finally beat Medicare” – an odd reference to the government-run healthcare programme for the elderly.

Mr Biden’s own former communications director Kate Bedingfield was on CNN immediately after the debate, and she was clear: “There’s no two ways about it, that was not a good debate for Joe Biden.”

She said his biggest issue was to prove he had the energy and the stamina, and he didn’t do that.

As the debate progressed, like a boxer on the ropes, Mr Biden started to take big swings against his opponent in an attempt to change the momentum. A few of those swings may have landed, provoking the former president into angry responses

That the first few topics were on the top voter issues of economy and immigration – which polls suggest Americans trust Donald Trump more on – only made the problem worse for the president.

“I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence, and I don’t think he did, either,” Trump quipped after another Biden response. That line may have summed up the night.

Former President Donald Trump claimed that President Joe Biden caused inflation and that it’s “killing” Americans, who “can’t buy groceries anymore” because the cost of food has “doubled and tripled and quadrupled.”

Vice President Kamala Harris urged Americans to focus on what President Joe Biden has accomplished for the country during his time in office, not his performance on the debate stage. “I’m talking about three-and-a-half years of performance in work that has been historic,” Harris told CNN.

Asked directly by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper if “the president that we saw tonight on that stage, is that how he is every day?”

The vice president said the person she works with every day “is someone who, as I have said, has performed in a way that has been about bringing people into the Oval Office — Republicans and Democrats — to compromise in a way that is extraordinary these days because it just doesn’t happen, but Joe Biden can make it happen.”

Registered voters who watched Thursday’s debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump say, 67% to 33%, that Trump turned in a better performance, according to a CNN flash poll of debate watchers conducted by SSRS.

Prior to the debate, the same voters said, 55% to 45%, that they expected Trump to turn in a better performance than Biden.

Derrick Kanalo
the authorDerrick Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.