US presidential debate: How the first face-off between Biden and Trump played out

World News

Press, pundits and politicos on both sides of the aisle declared President Joe Biden is losing his high-stakes debate with former President Donald Trump less than an hour into the debate, with some writing on social media that he looks “old” and “weak”—and a handful arguing Biden should drop out of the race.
Donald Trump And Joe Biden Participate In First Presidential Debate

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks during the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. President Biden and Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump are facing off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Key Takeaways
  • Biden’s voice was hoarse, several of his answers to questions were unintelligible, he lost his train of thought and repeatedly had to correct himself just 30 minutes into the program Thursday.
  • Criticism poured in even from some of former President Donald Trump’s staunchest opponents: View host and former Trump White House staffer Alyssa Farah Griffin tweeted she’s hearing from “viewers of all political stripes and the consensus is Biden needs to be replaced,” and the debate is “worse than I believe most people imagined,” adding in another tweet it’s “hard to watch.”
  • New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on X he wishes Biden would reflect on his debate performance and drop out, suggesting that another Democrat, such as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Sen. Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio, or Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, could replace Biden now and beat Trump.
  • Left-leaning political columnist Tyler Austin Harper wrote any Biden staffers who allowed him to debate “should never work again.”
  • Progressive Rebellion PAC Executive Director Brianna Wu wrote that Biden is “beyond incoherent” and “looks old and weak,” adding that she “loathe[s] Trump with every cell in [her] body,” and predicts “people that don’t follow politics closely are not going to vote for a candidate that seems this gone.”
  • Longtime GOP consultant Mike Murphy tweeted that he’s voting for Biden but said the debate is “a disaster so far,” while Charlie Sykes, founder of the conservative anti-Trump website The Bulwark, wrote, “this is not good. At all.”
  • BET News host and City University of New York presidential professor Marc Lamont Hill wrote “Trump is officially whipping Biden’s a** right now…”
  • Longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz wrote on X his focus group of undecided voters is “surprised and concerned about Biden’s voice,” adding “this doesn’t bode well for questions about his health.”

This is a developing story. More to come. This article was originally published on and all figures are in USD.

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