‘I don’t debate as well as I used to – but I tell the truth’: Biden comes out swinging at Trump after debate disaster

The president gave a full-throated condemnation of Donald Trump in North Carolina, hours after the debate, calling him a ‘one-man crime wave’

Andrew Feinberg,Alex Woodward
Friday 28 June 2024 20:05
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Biden addresses debate performance: ‘I don’t debate as well as I used to’

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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Hours after the first presidential debate, where he struggled to keep up with Donald Trump’s avalanche of lies and couldn’t to string together coherent sentences,a visibly energized Joe Biden acknowledged the previous night’s failures in fired-up remarks to a raucous rally crowd in North Carolina.

“I know I’m not a young man, to state the obvious,” he said at the end of his remarks on Friday in Raleigh.

“Folks, I don’t walk as easy as I used to. I don’t speak as well as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to. But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. I know how to to this job,” he said.

“I know what millions of Americans do: When you get knocked down you get back up.”

Biden had appeared befuddled and glassy-eyed on Thursday night in Atlanta as he attempted to counter Trump’s unchecked, bogus statements during their first debate since the 2020 election face-off.

On Friday, Biden sought to recast the performance, saying that he had “spent 90 minutes on stage debating a guy who has the morals of an alley cat.”

“Did you see Trump last night? … The most lies told in a single debate,” he added.

President Joe Biden addresses supporters at campaign rally in North Carolina on June 28, the day after his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump
President Joe Biden addresses supporters at campaign rally in North Carolina on June 28, the day after his disastrous debate performance against Donald Trump (REUTERS)

Over the course of the 90-minute debate, which took place in a CNN studio in Atlanta without an audience, the 81-year-old president sounded hoarse and was hard to hear at times, with responses consisting of disjointed facts presented in brief, confusing and disconnected phrases.

Trump - without any real-time fact-checking - unloaded bogus claims that bulldozed his opponent and the debate moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

At one point, Biden appeared to lose his train of thought while attempting to answer a question about inflation before he left open a long and awkward moment of silence that only gave Trump more ammunition.

The horrific performance by the 46th president has stoked unbridled panic among Democratic operatives and commentators, many of whom have called for Biden to stand down from his re-election bid before the Democratic Party’s nominating convention in August.

But Biden gave no hint that he was even considering an early retirement as he fired up rally-goers on Friday.

“America itself is at stake now,” he told the crowd.

The president recounted one of the debate’s high points for him, the moment when he brought up Trump’s 34 felony convictions at the hands of a New York City jury.

“Donald Trump isn't just a convicted felon. Donald Trump is a one-man crime wave,” he said.

He said that what bothers him the most about his GOP opponent is how Trump “has no respect for women or the law.”

“Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this nation,” Biden said. “He's a threat to our freedom. He's a threat to our democracy. He's literally a threat for everything America stands for.”

North Carolina is a key battleground state that Biden hopes to capture as the first Democrat since Barack Obama to carry the state’s electoral votes.

“What you saw last night on the debate stage was Joe Biden: a president with integrity and character, who told the truth,” First Lady Jill Biden also told the crowd on Friday. “And Donald Trump, who told lie after lie after lie.”

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