Kamala Harris admitted Biden’s debate performance was rough

Kamala Harris admitted Biden’s debate performance was rough

Vice President Kamala Harris found herself in a heated exchange with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night following President Joe Biden’s widely criticized debate performance. The debate, which saw Biden struggling with a halting and raspy delivery, has sparked concerns within the Democratic Party about his viability as their standard-bearer.

Cooper highlighted the unease among Democrats, noting that some within the party believe Biden should consider stepping aside from seeking re-election. “What we saw tonight is the president making a very clear contrast with Donald Trump on all of the issues that matter to the American people,” Harris responded. “Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish.”

Despite Harris’s defense of Biden’s performance, Cooper interrupted, pointing out the disappointment among Biden’s supporters. “Democratic lawmakers watching the debate were worried about the performance. One said it was a disaster and another called it a trainwreck. Those are Democrats especially worried that Biden did not punch back on Trump’s lies,” Cooper said.

Harris emphasized the importance of substance over style in the election, lambasting Trump as a liar and criticizing his responses on issues like January 6, election results, and abortion. However, Cooper persisted, noting that Biden failed to effectively counter Trump on stage. “All that may be true, but the President of the United States was not able to make that case to Donald Trump on the stage tonight,” Cooper said.

Cooper also pointed out the stark difference between Biden’s current performance and his debate four years ago. “You debated against then-Vice President Biden four years ago, and he was a very different person on the stage four years ago when you debated him. That’s certainly true, is it not?” Cooper asked.

Harris acknowledged the point but shifted the focus to Biden’s overall performance over the past three-and-a-half years. “I got the point that you’re making about a one-and-a-half hour debate tonight,” Harris said. “I’m talking about three-and-a-half years of performance in work that has been historic.”

Cooper continued to press Harris, asking if she was concerned about Biden’s performance. “Can you say that you are not concerned at all having watched the president’s performance tonight?” Cooper asked. Harris admitted to the slow start but reiterated the stakes of the upcoming election. “It was a slow start, I’m not going to debate that,” Harris admitted. “I’m talking about the choice in November. I’m talking about one of the most important elections in our collective lifetime, and do we want to look at what November will bring and go on a course for America that is about a destruction of democracy.”

Harris also highlighted the extraordinary stakes in the election and noted that Biden had the endorsement of his vice president, contrasting it with former Vice President Mike Pence’s lack of support for Trump in 2024. Cooper acknowledged that neither candidate had laid out the race as coherently as Harris had, to which she tersely thanked him at the end of the contentious interview.

A CNN flash poll found that 67 percent of debate watchers thought Trump had won, while only 33 percent thought Biden had. This result has only added to the Democratic Party’s concerns about Biden’s candidacy.

The debate performance has been described as the weakest since the tradition of televised debates began with John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon in 1960. Biden’s chief debate coach, Ron Klain, has famously argued that “while you can lose a debate at any time, you can only win it in the first 30 minutes.” By that standard, Biden’s showing was devastating.

The debate has raised questions about Biden’s ability to communicate effectively with the country and sell his vision for a second term. His approval rating was already below 40 percent before the debate, and his performance has only deepened concerns about his candidacy.

Trump, on the other hand, managed to avoid playing into Biden’s claims that he is “unhinged” and unfit to return to the Oval Office. However, Trump did not avoid his own disqualifying issues, including spouting falsehoods about his presidency and his attempt to steal the last election.

Biden’s reelection campaign is rooted in the idea that he is the last thing standing between America and a second Trump presidency that would destroy democracy. However, his debate performance has alarmed voters who take him at his word.

Biden’s voice was weak, and his answers often drifted into incoherence. He missed opportunities to jab Trump on key issues like abortion and immigration. His performance has raised questions about the strategic choice to push for a debate with Trump and has undercut attempts by the White House to talk up Biden’s heartiness.

The debate has left the Democratic Party in crisis, with serious conversations taking place behind the scenes about whether Biden’s candidacy is sustainable. If the behind-the-scenes venting by Democrats coalesces into more serious questions about Biden’s capacity, the crisis around him will deepen.

There has been little effort by the Biden White House to promote Harris as the president’s heir, and no Democrat with future presidential possibilities has taken the risk of challenging Biden. The debate has left Biden with a somber test to prove to Americans that he is vital, energetic, and up to fulfilling his duties in a second term.

In summary, Vice President Kamala Harris admitted that Biden’s debate performance was rough, but she emphasized the importance of substance over style in the upcoming election. The debate has raised serious concerns within the Democratic Party about Biden’s candidacy and has left the party in crisis.

Source: CNN, Fox News

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