Trump Made Over 30 False Claims While Biden’s Performance Concerns Democrats in Presidential Debate

By: May Man Published: Jun 29, 2024

President Joe Biden’s recent debate performance has sparked significant concern among leading Democrats, with some questioning his ability to remain the Democratic nominee.

“He seemed a little disoriented. He did get stronger as the debate went on. But by that time, I think the panic had set in,” remarked David Axelrod, a longtime Democratic strategist and CNN senior political commentator.

Strong Moments for Biden Despite Criticism

Axelrod also echoed a sentiment shared by many Democrats on Thursday night: “There are going to be discussions about whether he should continue.”

Trump on the left with eyes closed, Biden on the right looking at Trump with anger. Presidential debate

Source: @JoeBiden, X

Despite a rough beginning, campaign and party officials highlighted Biden’s strong moments, such as his response to former President Donald Trump regarding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, his remarks on climate change, and his rebuttal of Trump’s reported derogatory comments about veterans.

“Slow start, but strong finish”

Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged Biden’s slow start.

Kamala Harris on left and Joe Biden on right

Source: @VP, X

“What we saw tonight is the president making a very clear contrast with Donald Trump on all the issues that matter to the American people. Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish. And what became very clear through the course of the night is that Joe Biden is fighting on behalf of the American people – on substance, on policy, on performance,” Harris stated in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

Substance Over Style

Pressed further on Biden’s performance, Harris defended him, emphasizing the importance of substance over style in the election.

President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, R-Tenn., Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House.

Source: Adam Schultz/Pexels

“It was a slow start. That’s obvious to everyone. I’m not going to debate that point,” Harris admitted.

Oldest President in U.S. History

Biden’s age has been a recurring issue since his 2019 campaign launch. At 81, he is the oldest president in history and would be 86 at the end of a potential second term.

Joe Biden sitting for a portrait photo in front of the American flag.

Source: The White House/Wikimedia Commons

The debate presented a crucial opportunity for Biden to demonstrate his vitality, but reactions ranged from concern to panic among Democrats regarding his vulnerability.

Cold and Acid Reflux Affected Biden’s Performance

From the outset, Biden seemed to struggle with his voice, frequently clearing his throat or coughing, which his doctor attributes to acid reflux. Additionally, Biden has been battling a cold, multiple sources informed CNN.

Biden about to cough during presidential debate

Source: @JoeBiden, X

Biden dismissed concerns about his debate performance, telling reporters at a Waffle House after the debate, “I think we did well.”


Trump’s False Claims

When questioned about calls for him to step down and his debate performance concerns, Biden criticized Trump, saying, “No, it’s hard to debate a liar.”

Trump talking in presidential debate

Source: @JoeBiden, X

Both Biden and Trump made false and misleading claims during CNN’s debate, but Trump did so more frequently, just as in their 2020 debates, with over 30 false claims.


Alternative Democrats

No serious Democratic challengers have emerged to contest Biden, meaning he would need to step aside for another nominee to be chosen. If Biden withdrew, the nomination would be decided at the convention.

President Joe Biden pointing in 2024.

Source: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democrats speculated on possible replacements: “If I was Gavin (Newsom) or Gretchen (Whitmer), I’d be making calls tonight,” one said.


“I will never turn by back on President Biden”

After the debate, Newsom rejected calls for Biden to be replaced.

Gavin Newsom speaking at an event. He is standing behind a wooden lectern. The California flag is behind him.

Source: Office of the Governor of California/Wikimedia Commons

“I will never turn my back on President Biden. Never turn my back on President Biden, I don’t know a Democrat in my party that would do so,” he asserted.


Biden’s Energy Level Lacking

“Disaster,” one lawmaker told CNN. “Trump is coming off as reasonable even if he’s lying 60 miles per hour. Biden is unintelligible.”

Joe Biden pictured with an unusual face during an event

Source: Wikimedia

Kate Bedingfield, former Biden White House communications director and 2020 deputy campaign manager, described the debate as an “atypically bad performance” for Biden, stating, “His biggest issue that he had to prove to the American people was that he had the energy and the stamina. And he didn’t do that.”


Offense vs. Defense

Democratic lawmakers watching the debate were alarmed by Biden’s lack of assertiveness against Trump’s falsehoods and his unclear articulation of his vision and achievements.

Two silhouettes of a donkey and an elephant, representing the Democratic party and the Republican party on an American flag

Source: Shutterstock

One Democratic congressman at a watch party on Capitol Hill described the reaction when Biden appeared to lose his train of thought as shock, noting a desire to “jump off a bridge.” Lawmakers felt Trump seemed youthful while Biden appeared old, with Trump playing offense and Biden on defense.


Biden’s Chance for Redemption

“I think Joe is doing better than he did in the first 15 minutes, and Trump is just lying his way through the debate. But I wish Joe was a lot stronger punching back,” one lawmaker said during the debate.

A photograph of U.S. President Joe Biden speaking to a crowd

Source: @WPLG Local/YouTube

Biden’s advisors had hoped the debate would show a fuller picture of Biden beyond the brief clips that often portray him as weak. Now, there is serious concern that his lapse in thought will become one of those viral clips.