Lost Track of Biden’s Debate Excuses? Here Are All of Them

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It’s no secret that the Biden administration is in full damage-control mode following the Democratic candidate’s disastrous debate performance on June 27. There have been enough excuses to fill a book, and even staunch allies are deserting him after he failed miserably to make his case for failing a debate that gave him every advantage over former President Donald Trump. 

CNN, a wildly leftist media organization, held the debate and allowed rabid anti-Trump anchors Dana Bash and Jake Tapper to moderate it. The debate was held without an audience, diminishing Trump’s unique ability to play to a crowd. Ahead of the debate, it was believed that Biden would be provided the questions, handled gently by moderators, and dominate the discussion. 

Instead, Trump claimed an easy victory, with hardly any effort required. Biden stumbled and fumbled incoherently for 90 minutes, alienating supporters and big donors. Even outlets like CNN and MCNBC, loyal Democratic supporters who have covered for Biden for three and a half years, have abandoned him. 

But not so fast, says Biden. He told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that his disastrous performance was due to a headache and not feeling well. Indeed, shortly after the debate started, a White House official informed The Hill that the president had developed a cold, which they suggested was the reason for Biden’s quiet voice and slow beginning.  

But that wasn’t enough, and Team Biden threw jet lag into the mix. President Biden attributed his lackluster performance to his extensive travel to Europe, admitting at a campaign fundraiser in Virginia that he “wasn’t very smart” to have undertaken multiple trips before the event. He claimed he didn’t heed his staff’s advice and nearly fell asleep during the debate. But the president’s travel had wrapped up almost two weeks before the debate, and he spent those two weeks at Camp David to rest and prepare for the debate. 

As The New York Times reported, Biden met with 16 current and former aides at Camp David in rural Maryland. During mock debates, Biden’s attorney, Bob Bauer, took on the role of Trump. Former White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain led the preparation team. It included National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, White House counselor Steve Richetti, current White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, and other campaign officials. 

As the fallout from the debate continued, Biden found a secret revealed. He can only perform his job duties for a few hours each day, and the debate was after his bedtime.  

The Biden family blamed staff for the disaster, going so far as to call for the ousting of several senior advisors. Criticism of Biden’s senior advisers has extended beyond his family circle. Prominent Democratic donor John Morgan publicly called for the resignations of three senior staff members: Anita Dunn, Ron Klain, and Bob Bauer. According to Morgan, “[Biden’s] advisers failed him.” He noted unironically that CNN’s format “was a disaster” and somehow a “plus” for Trump. Additionally, claims Morgan, Biden “over practiced and was drained.” 

Meanwhile, Trump, who has been in court for most of the last year, shined brightly on stage. Trump could probably tell Biden something about exhaustion, yet he decisively out-performed Biden. 

When the excuses still didn’t quell concerns over the debacle, Biden claimed that Trump, who stood quietly with his mic muted during his rival’s incoherent ramblings, was shouting over him. In response to Stephanopoulos’ question about when Biden realized the debate wasn’t going well, the President responded, “I knew I was having a bad night when I realized that even after his mic was turned off and he continued to shout, I let it distract me.” 

It would have been an excellent excuse, but it didn’t happen. Footage showed Trump displaying a decidedly un-Trump-like politeness. There was no need for shouting – Biden was destroying himself with no help from Trump. When pressed over the accuracy of his statement, Biden claimed he couldn’t remember if he had seen post-debate footage or not, a statement that gave even his most loyal supporters pause. 

In an interesting twist, First Lady Jill Biden defended her husband’s performance by stating that Biden was “not a young man” and wasn’t feeling well that night. 

As pressure continues to mount on Biden to step down, only one thing is clear: His excuses are as weak as his presidency, and yet somehow, they are easier to believe than his claims of a successful term.