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Joe Biden Had A Very Rough Night, And 4 Other Takeaways From The 2024 Presidential Debate

President Joe Biden walked onto the debate stage ― the earliest general-election showdown in presidential debate history ― with a mission to reassure the public of his physical and mental fitness for office, and to close some of the polling gap with former President Donald Trump.

The debate was also an opportunity for Biden to put Trump on the defensive over his felony conviction on May 30 in Manhattan.

Though we do not yet have hard survey data, it is hard to imagine Biden, 81, winning over any swing voters who may have tuned into CNN on Thursday night.

Biden looked and sounded like an old man. Especially in the first 20 minutes, Biden’s voice was so hoarse and raspy that his words were often hard to make out. He lacked energy, and he repeatedly trailed off and lost his train of thought.

Trump, 78, came off much sharper, more coherent and more lively. He capitalized on Biden’s worst moments.

In one particularly cringe-inducing exchange, Biden tried to tout his work to empower Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, but he trailed off incoherently.

“We finally beat Medicare,” he eventually concluded.

Trump responded with a lie, claiming Biden was bankrupting Medicare by allowing illegal border crossings to rise. But he got the last word in and sounded crisper.

“Well, he’s right,” Trump responded. “He did beat Medicare ― he beat it to death, he destroyed it.”

Something similar happened when Biden interrupted himself mid-sentence while defending his record on immigration. “I’m going to continue to move until we get the total ban on ― the total initiative relative to what we can do with more Border Patrol and more asylum officers,” Biden said. It was unclear what “ban” he was referring to.

“I really

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