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Updated Jul 5, 2024, 9:06pm EDT
North America

Biden insists poor debate performance was just a ‘bad night’

REUTERS/Nathan Howard
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The News

US President Joe Biden insisted that his poor debate performance against Donald Trump was just a “bad night,” blaming exhaustion and a cold, during Friday’s closely-watched interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

Biden doubled down on the narrative his campaign and aides have been pushing in the aftermath of the debacle: “It was a bad episode,” Biden said. “No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing.”

He later added that he was sick and “was feeling terrible” because he had “a really bad cold.” He also said his performance was “nobody’s fault, but mine,” adding that Trump’s lies and shouting distracted him.

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The interview was part of the Biden campaign’s public relations blitz to assuage voters, as well as many Democrats, who have grown increasingly vocal in expressing their doubts about the president’s mental acuity since the debate, with some publicly calling for him to drop out of the race.

Biden appeared dismissive on questions about his age and cognitive abilities during the interview, The New York Times wrote, and some congressional Democrats were frustrated that Biden did little to address these concerns.

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