Biden’s shaky start in debate rattles Democrats


With his voice hoarse from a cold, Biden hurried through some of his talking points on the debate stage, stumbled over some answers and trailed off during others…reports Asian Lite News

President Joe Biden’s supporters had hoped Thursday night’s debate would erase worries that the 81-year-old was too old to serve another term, but his hoarse voice and at times tentative performance against Republican rival Donald Trump did the opposite.

Biden and Trump, 78, both have faced concerns about their age and fitness in the run-up to the Nov. 5 election, but they have weighed more heavily on Biden.

On Thursday, with his voice hoarse from a cold, Biden hurried through some of his talking points on the debate stage, stumbled over some answers and trailed off during others.

About halfway through the debate, a Democratic strategist who worked on Biden’s 2020 campaign called it a “disaster.”

Trump unleashed a barrage of criticisms including well-worn falsehoods like migrants carrying out a crime wave and that Democrats support infanticide.

Early in the debate, Biden paused as he was making a point about Medicare and tax reform and seemed to lose his train of thought.

Tax reform would create money to help “strengthen our health care system, making sure that we’re able to make every single solitary person eligible for what I was able to do with the, with the COVID, excuse me, with dealing with everything we had to do with,” Biden said, pausing. “We finally beat Medicare.”

Trump jabbed Biden for being incoherent, saying at one point: “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said.”

“Biden’s not talking in a measured way, and looks like he’s searching for words,” said Ray La Raja, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Ahead of the debate, Biden confined himself to nearly a week of “debate camp” with top advisers at the Camp David presidential retreat in the mountains of western Maryland, an indication of how important his campaign considered Thursday night. It didn’t reflect on his performance, critics said.

“Biden sounds old. And lost. And that’s going to matter more than anything. So far, this is an absolute nightmare for Biden,” Joe Walsh, a former 2020 Republican presidential candidate who has been critical of Trump, said on X.

‘Inflation killing our country’

Donald Trump accused Joe Biden on Thursday of doing a “poor job” on the US economy and of presiding over a disastrous rise in inflation — reflecting how rising prices and the cost of living have become key issues ahead of November’s presidential election.

“He has not done a good job. He’s done a poor job,” Trump said during CNN’s head-to-head debate with Biden in Atlanta, Georgia. “And inflation is killing our country. It is absolutely killing us.

“I gave him a country with essentially no inflation. It was perfect. It was so good, all he had to do is leave it alone.” he added. “He destroyed it“

In response to Trump’s attacks on his record, Biden said Trump had “absolutely decimated” the US economy when he was president.

“There was no inflation when I became president. You know why? The economy was flat on its back,” he said, adding that his administration had helped create “millions” of new jobs, including in minority communities.

Americans have named inflation or the cost of living as “the most important financial problem facing their family,” in each of the last three years, according to a recent poll from the Washington-based firm Gallup.

Perhaps more worryingly for Biden, 46 percent of adults in the United States said they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in Trump to do or recommend the right thing for the economy, while just 38 percent said the same thing about the current president, according to another Gallup poll.

While it is true that US consumer inflation jumped sharply after Biden took office, hitting a multi-decade high in 2022, the rise was largely fueled by a post-pandemic supply crunch and by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Terrorists entering US’

During the debate Biden claimed that his policy has reduced the number of immigrants arriving by 40 per cent. He attacked Trump alleging that during his tenure, migrant families were separated from each other.

“We significantly increased the number of asylum office. The border patrol endorsed my position. When he (Trump) was President, he was separating babies from their mothers, putting them into cages, making sure they’re the families were separated. That’s not right way to go,” Biden said at the first debate hosted by CNN.

Donald Trump hit back at Biden claiming the US borders were the “safest” in history during his tenure, while further alleging that today, the “largest number of terrorists” are entering the country.

“We had the safest border in the history. All he (Biden) had to do is to leave it. He decided to open up our border, open up our country to people who are coming from prison, mental institutions. We have the largest number of terrorists coming into our country, all over the world,” Trump said.

“They are killing our people in New York and California and every state in the union because we don’t have borders anymore,” he added.

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