Democrats are shocked by Biden’s “terrible” debate performance as he defends the candidacy

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed the backlash against his debate performance at a rally Friday, while Democrats interviewed on Capitol Hill said the party must find a way to reassure voters after what they described as a “terrible” performance and a “bad night.”

Biden, speaking in Raleigh, North Carolina, acknowledged several mistakes he made during Thursday night’s debate on CNN. These included a raspy, low voice and responses that often started one way and then moved on to a completely different topic.

“I know I’m not a young man, let’s be clear,” Biden said. “I don’t walk around as freely as I used to. I don’t talk as fluently as I used to. I don’t argue as well as I used to, but… I know how to tell the truth.”

Biden, 81, told the crowd that despite the mishaps, he is still in office for another four years and said his rival, 78-year-old presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, poses a “real threat to this situation.” nation.”

“When you get knocked down, you get back up,” Biden said. “I wouldn’t run again if I didn’t believe with all my heart and soul that I could do this job because, quite frankly, the stakes are too high.”

Outside the Beltway, Democrats were still trying to absorb what they saw Thursday night. In Colorado, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis I wouldn’t answer directly asked about calls from some Democrats for Biden to resign. In the swing state of Pennsylvania, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro and other Democrats came to Biden’s defense on social media and on the airwaves.

Hoyer rejects the idea of ​​Biden resigning

In Washington, lawmakers had mixed reviews how Biden performed during the debateSome say one bad night shouldn’t prompt the party to change its candidate in the coming weeks, while others say Biden should reconsider his decision to seek re-election.

Maryland Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer said Biden “had a bad night” but said the president still showed respect for “the people, the truth and the Constitution.”

“The other candidate, who doesn’t respect either of them, showed that last night,” he said of Trump.

Hoyer deflected a question about whether Democrats need a fresh presidential candidate, saying they already have one and it’s “Joe Biden.”

“He has a remarkable track record,” Hoyer said.

Pennsylvania Responds: Gov. Shapiro Defends Biden After ‘Bad Debate’

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Angie Craig called it a “terrible debate.”

“We all have to admit it, Donald Trump has lied every time he has opened his mouth,” Craig said, adding that she is not worried about November but is focused on the floods in her home state.

The atmosphere on the first floor of the house

New York Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks said he didn’t expect party members to suddenly “abandon ship” on the Biden-Harris ticket, but said Biden has a lot of work to do before Election Day.

“I know Joe Biden. I’ve sat across the room from Joe Biden in some very important meetings,” Meeks said. “And I know he’s there and he has the ability to do it. He didn’t do it last night. But I know he has the ability.

However, he added that the mood in the House of Representatives was not ideal on Friday morning.

“There’s no hiding it, people are not happy. No one was jumping for joy and saying, ‘That was a great night last night,'” Meeks said. “Is there concern? Yes, because we know how important it is to win this election.”

Meeks declined to speculate on whether Biden would drop out of the second debate in September, but said it “might be tough to get out of.”

He said Biden needs to meet with voters much more often before the election through town halls and interviews to provide confidence.

Meeks also sought to draw a distinction between Biden and Trump, saying the lies Trump told during the debate signaled he had not evolved.

“Nothing has changed with Trump. He’s still the pathological liar that Lindsey Graham called him. He’s still the fraud that Marco Rubio called him,” Meeks said, referring to the Republican senators from South Carolina and Florida. “And I certainly don’t want a pathological liar and fraud to be president of the United States of America. It would be bad for us and it will be bad for our allies.”

House Speaker Sees ‘Serious Problem’

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Cabinet members should “examine their hearts” about what is the best path forward for the country on “this alarming situation.”

“I think they know they have a serious problem, but it’s not just a political problem, it’s not just a Democratic Party problem, it’s a countrywide problem,” Johnson said. “We have a serious problem here because we have a president who, by all appearances, has not risen to the occasion.”

“This is a very serious moment in American history and it must be treated and treated as such,” Johnson added.

The Louisiana Republican did not rule out that Amendment 25which deals with presidential disability and succession, may be appropriate. However, he noted that this is a matter for the Cabinet, not the House.

During the debate, Trump “showed the temperament, stamina and mental acuity that is necessary to do this really important job at this really important time,” Johnson said.

Biden, in turn, “showed last night that he is weak, unfortunately that he is powerless,” Johnson added.

Democrats they are moving forward with their plans to nominate Biden as the official presidential candidate before the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in tardy August.

The all-virtual roll-call vote is scheduled to take place before Aug. 7, the deadline for candidates to appear on the ballot in Ohio. The state requires candidates to be officially nominated at least 90 days before the November election.

Exclusive: DNC continues entirely virtual call for President Biden’s nomination

This means any final decisions on Biden’s candidacy will likely have to be made in July.

There is no need to replace Biden

Massachusetts Democratic Republican Richard Neal said he’s taking a “long-term view” of the campaign and doesn’t believe Democrats should replace Biden in the top spot.

“I think we’re kind of at a point where personalities play a big role in politics,” Neal said. “At the same time, I think Joe Biden has a really good track record… And I think we want to make sure people see that in the fullness of his presidency.”

Neal said Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, won her first debate with Trump even though Trump won the election.

He also noted that Walter Mondale, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1984, was widely believed to have won his first debate against Republican Ronald Reagan, even though Reagan defeated him during the election.

Florida Democratic Republican Lois Frankel said that “there was only one decent, honest man who reflected my values, and that was Joe Biden.”

Frankel said she was not overly concerned about calls for Biden to step down from the top job, although she said she was not involved in those talks.

Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright said Biden’s performance reminded him of the 2022 debate in which his own performance was “poor.”

“He had a rough night,” Cartwright said, adding that he thought Democrats should not “overreact.”

Cartwright said he doesn’t think Biden’s debate performance will have an impact on how his voters view him. districtcovering parts of northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton, will be on the ballot in lower-ranking elections this year.

“People split their tickets where I live,” Cartwright said. “They know who I am and they know I’m not the same guy as anyone in the White House.”

Republicans react

Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack said Biden’s performance “confirmed” many of the concerns lawmakers and others had about his “cognitive abilities” during the debate.

“But at the end of the day, you have to assume these two will still be competing in November,” Womack said.

Republicans, he said, must move “full steam ahead” to keep the House, change the Senate and take back the White House in November, but that’s just the beginning of the difficult work.

“If that happens, we have a few years and we have to be able to demonstrate that we are serious about leading America,” Womack said.

Iowa Republican Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks said it was up to Democrats to determine whether they believe their candidate is up to the task of governing the country for the next four years.

“From my perspective, what I saw last night reinforces my belief that this is not the case and that I will be voting for President Trump,” Miller-Meeks said. “I thought President Trump’s responses and policies were well-reasoned and show that he was very smart, very insightful and very well-informed.”

Miller-Meeks said it will be a challenge for the Biden campaign and Democrats to dismiss concerns about Biden’s mental functioning after the debate.

“I think what was visible to a lot of people is now very visible and difficult to hide, given the performance that everyone saw last night,” Miller-Meeks said.

Florida Republican Congressman Byron Donalds, one of the lawmakers in the Trump campaign low list of vice presidential candidateshe said Trump “did what he needed to do — he showed leadership, he showed command by talking about the problems plaguing this country.”

“As far as I’m concerned, whether it’s Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or anyone else, the Democratic agenda has been a failure. Period.”

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