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Biden,Trump Presidential Debate: Panic Over Biden’s Performance

Biden,Trump Presidential Debate: Panic Over Biden’s Performance

The concern over President Joe Biden’s advanced age and cognitive abilities crystalized in the front half of the first presidential debate on Thursday, leading to panic among his supporters and several notable individuals to call for him to be replaced on the ticket.

Biden had multiple gaffes and stumbles as the debate began, trailing off at points and mixing up and missing words while completing his answers and replies to his opponent. This was sharply contrasted by Trump, who shouted about Biden’s perceived failures. While he got it together in the second half hour, the damage to Biden’s campaign was apparent. 

Immediately after the debate, CNN reported that Biden’s incoherence was causing alarm bells to go off with top Democratic leaders who are now wondering what to do. The network’s chyron in the panelist’s post-debate analysis read: “Sources: Dems saying ‘we have a problem’ after Biden’s performance tonight”

The sentiment ripped across X, formerly known as Twitter, with some questioning if he should even continue his campaign as names of top Democrats were floated as a replacement candidate. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is one of those names. Newsom spoke about the debate and the Biden panic in an interview with MSNBC after the debate.

“I think it’s unhelpful, and I think it’s unnecessary,” Newsom said ofthe panic over Biden’s performance. “We’ve got to go all in. Got to keep our heads high. And as I say, we’ve got to have the back of this president.”

The governor’s feeling aside, the Biden panic was strong online. Here are some tweets from Democrats and members of the press that were dumbfounded or shocked by Biden’s performance on Thursday.

American political and corporate strategist Steve Schmidt wrote, “Biden will be a one-term president. He still has the chance to watch a Democrat be inaugurated. There are 68 days until the DNC. Whitmer/Moore beats Trump.”

“The voice, open-mouthed look, and visual contrast between President Biden and former President Trump all have Democrats I’m talking to nearly beside themselves watching this debate,” wrote CNN anchor Kasie Hunt.

Political commentator and former conservative voice on The View Meghan McCain wrote, “This is the most stressful debate I’ve ever watched and my parent was a nominee against Obama. #DebateNight.”

Political journalist Jacob Weisberg stated that “Biden is a decent man who is clearly at the end of his career. He must withdraw from the race for the good of the country. Ideally tomorrow.

Nicholas Kristof wrote, “I wish Biden would reflect on this debate performance and then announce his decision to withdraw from the race, throwing the choice of Democratic nominee to the convention. Someone like @gretchenwhitmer or @SherrodBrown or @SecRaimondo could still jump in and beat Trump.”

The tension around the weak performance was think in the air at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which “gathers the most inspired and provocative minds in one place.”

Sarah Longwell, the head of Republicans against Trump said at the fesival to both cheers and boos: “I want Trump to lose more than  anything in the world but this is an unmitigated disaster. This was a crucial night for Biden. He didn’t show up. You can’t deny what people saw with their eyes — a man who is too old to be president. He was up against a lunatic, a liar and a man who is clearly unfit. But Trump is going to win unless we do something drastic. We can’t pretend that we didn’t see what we just saw.”

Pollster Celinda Lake took the opposite tack, asking people not to lose faith and take the fight to Trump. “This is winnable,” she says. “The polls are close. Most people don’t even watch debates.”

And pundit Eddie Gauge said he is more scared about democracy tonight than he’s been in his entire life.

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