Biden’s Bad Debate Night: Mumbles, Blank Stares and Major Bumbles Give Trump a Path to Finish Line

by John Solomon


A nation hungry for solutions to its woes got a heavy dose Thursday night of prescriptions from a confident and concise Donald Trump in the first presidential debate of 2024 while the man who succeeded him in the White House alarmed his own Democrat ranks with a steady stream of mumbles, blank stares and major bumbles.

During 90-plus minutes, voters got a stark contrast in the policies and stamina of the two major party candidates as the 81-year-old Joe Biden gave his  critics a sizzle real of blunders sure to fill attack ads for weeks to come.

At various consequential moments, Biden claimed “we finally beat Medicare,” acknowledged black voters had a right to be angry because inflation was still hurting them “badly” and managed to insult veterans by falsely claiming no soldiers had died on his watch, clearly ignoring the 13 Marines killed during the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan on his watch in 2021.

But the verbal gaffes were overshadowed even more by eye-wrenching optics – the visuals that have matter in every debate since the 1960 contest between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon – that made Biden look weak and frail.

The 46th president’s voice sounded raspy and weak (his team blamed a summer cold), he frequently mumbled or halted through lines designed to defend his records and at times he launched attacks on Trump that had long been debunked even by liberal fact-checkers.

Even his exit from the stage at night’s end went viral in the negative sense as his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, seemed to be guiding a frail man grasping for help.

There’s little doubt Trump won the first debate. But the bigger consequence of one of the earliest presidential debates in history was the panic Biden’s performance fueled inside his own party and the debate that was renewed instantly about whether the incumbent should be dropped from a ticket just weeks after winning the necessary delegates.

Politico, the influential  Beltway news site famous for anonymous quotes, blared a headline even before the debate was over suggesting that Biden was “toast.” Former Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang openly called from Biden’s ouster. And even the faithful pundits that have championed the Biden presidency were sounding alarm,

“That was painful,” Democrat adviser and CNN analyst Van Jones declared. ”Approaching panic,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid said. “I think there was a sense of shock,” former Obama adviser David Axelrod declared, describing Biden’s halting start to the debate.

CNN political reporter John King, who has covered every presidential race since the 1980s, declared Biden’s performance a “game changing debate” that was prompting talk of a Democrat coup to remove Biden or encourage him to step aside.

Biden showed no signs of exiting. He went on the X social platform to attack Trump anew and raise money.

“Donald Trump spent the night talking about himself, his lies, his legal woes, his affairs with a porn star, and his golf championships at his own club. What a bunch of malarkey. Together, we can keep him out of the White House,” the president wrote.

On the flip side, Trump was energetic, focused and seized upon a format that limited answers to one and two minutes. He landed his answers in the timeframes and turned around any question he didn’t like (Jan. 6, accepting the results of the next election, etc.) to remind voters of the difference in his and Biden’s records on the two I’s that matter most: inflation and immigration.

“His presidency, without question, the worst president, the worst presidency in the history of our country. We shouldn’t be having a debate about it. There’s nothing to debate,” he said at one point.

And perhaps in one of his most important moments of the night, Trump flipped the script on who is harming women the most after months of Democrat attacks on conservative abortion stances.

He declared he absolutely supported exceptions to any abortion bans for rape, incest and saving the life of a mother and suggested Biden was proving more dangerous to women with an open border policy that has led to increasing rapes and murders of woman and girls as young as 12.

“There have been many young women murdered by the same people he allows to come across our border. We have a border that’s the most dangerous place anywhere in the world – considered the most dangerous place anywhere in the world,” rump declared.

“And he opened it up, and these killers are coming into our country. And they are raping and killing women, and it’s a terrible thing,” he added.

There was one other clear verdict by night’s end. Americans seemed to fancy CNN’s new format that kept answers to 2 minutes or less, didn’t let moderators fact check candidates and cut off microphones when the clock ran out.

Watch the full debate:

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John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist, author and digital media entrepreneur who serves as Chief Executive Officer and Editor in Chief of Just the News. Before founding Just the News, Solomon played key reporting and executive roles at some of America’s most important journalism institutions, such as The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Newsweek, The Daily Beast and The Hill.



Reprinted with permission from Just the News.

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