Joe Biden is experiencing a disaster: Is he still the right candidate?

Donald Trump lied almost non-stop in the first presidential debate. But Joe Biden was unable to stand up to the former president and appeared fidgety and overwhelmed. Now the question is whether Biden should end his candidacy.

The US President speaks, but he is barely understandable. “Guys, how are you? Nice to be here,” mumbles Joe Biden as he enters the stage with a stiff hip. If you watch the scene several times, you can guess what the 81-year-old wants to say. This is how the first televised debate of this election year between Biden and Donald Trump begins on Thursday evening in Atlanta, Georgia: A president addresses an audience of millions and is barely understandable.

In the first 15 minutes, Biden keeps clearing his throat and struggling with his voice. Trump, on the other hand, stands next to him and speaks clear and simple sentences. “We had the greatest economy in the history of our country. Biden destroyed it.” These are sentences that remain.

“You’re the idiot, the loser” – that’s how the first TV debate between Trump and Biden went

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A debate then developed that television commentators described as historic just seconds after it ended. Trump lied for long stretches, but neither Biden nor the CNN moderators could counter it. After 50 minutes, reporters reported that the president had a cold. The Biden campaign was still trying to limit the damage during the debate. In snap polls afterwards, however, around two-thirds said Trump had won the debate. It was very different four years ago: 60 percent said Biden had won.

One of the most remarkable scenes occurs when health policy is discussed. Biden says he has capped the cost of insulin for older people. This is true: Biden has made it a law that seniors covered by Medicare will not pay more than $35 per month for their insulin.

Trump appears more competent despite lies

But Trump doesn’t care. “I’m the one who brought insulin down for seniors,” says the former president. “I took care of seniors.” He then accuses Biden of destroying the health care system. In fact, as president, Trump had only wrested a voluntary commitment from the pharmaceutical industry. The costs remained high even after that.

Trump’s words remain unchallenged. He talks and lies, but Biden cannot set him straight. The president stands there with a stony expression, his mouth wide open, his gaze seemingly staring into space. Trump seems more lively and speaks in understandable sentences. He often seems more competent than Biden – despite the untruths he spreads. In American election campaigns, it is not always the truth that counts, but performance.

Towards the end of the debate, things get a little better for Biden. He attacks Trump for his guilty verdict in New York and the many legal problems. The former president is also asked several times whether he will accept the result of the upcoming presidential election. Trump squirms and says he will only accept it if the election was “fair” and “legally secure.” Four years ago, Trump claimed the election was stolen from him without being able to prove it. Biden says that is unbecoming of a former president. But he can no longer correct the devastating overall impression.

Kamala Harris indirectly admits Joe Biden’s defeat

The duel was held at the Technical University of Georgia. Journalists sat in the sports hall of the Georgia Institute of Technology and followed the exchange of blows. Representatives of both sides were available on the playing field afterwards to answer questions.

Trump’s people are in the so-called “spin room” immediately after the debate ends. Lara Trump, his daughter-in-law and co-leader of the Republican Party, as well as Senators Marco Rubio, Tim Scott and JD Vance, and Governor Doug Burgum – the four men are being discussed as possible vice presidential candidates. They all say that Trump won the debate. That’s not surprising.

What is much more surprising is that Biden’s people are not there. It is only a few minutes, but it feels like an eternity. Apparently there is a need for coordination. Later they will say that Biden did not have an ideal start, but was able to show in the end that he is the right president. The news channels have long since passed a devastating verdict on Biden’s performance.

5-minute talk: Why Joe Biden should not fall over in the TV duel against Trump

TV duel against Trump: Why Joe Biden should not fall over

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Later that evening, Kamala Harris, the incumbent Vice President, gives an interview on CNN. She is repeatedly asked about her boss’s poor performance. Finally, she says: “I’m not going to spend the whole evening talking to you about the last 90 minutes when I’ve seen him for the last three and a half years.”

Joe Biden has lost the first of two televised debates against Donald Trump. In the next few days, the pressure on him to refrain from running again will increase massively. Then another candidate could run to prevent Donald Trump from returning to the White House.