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2024 us presidential debate
By CAROL JONES 422 views
NEWS

Biden Falls Flat as Trump Dominates First 2024 US Presidential Debate

In what was billed as a crucial moment in a tight race for the White House, US President Joe Biden and his Republican rival, Donald Trump, faced off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle. The highly anticipated event, which took place on Thursday, saw the two candidates spar over their opposing visions for the country, with Trump appearing to gain the upper hand over a somewhat faltering Biden.

A Heated Exchange:

From the moment Biden stepped onto the stage, he seemed to be on unsteady ground. As he approached the podium, he was seen muttering to himself, perhaps a sign of the pressure he was under going into this pivotal night. However, when the debate got underway, the Democratic president came out swinging, aiming to undermine Trump’s popularity by attacking his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had an economy that was in free fall,” Biden told the room, referring to the state of the country when he took office. “Things were in chaos. So we put things back together.” Biden also took aim at Trump’s well-known resistance to COVID-19 safety measures, mocking the former president’s suggestion that injecting bleach might be a cure. “Just inject a little bleach into your arm, and you’ll be alright,” he said, quoting Trump’s infamous words.

Trump, ever the showman, responded with his characteristic hyperbole, painting a very different picture of his time in office. “We had the greatest economy in the history of our country. We have never done so well. Everybody was amazed by it. Other countries were copying us,” he boasted, with a touch of his signature humor, adding, “Everything was rocking good.”

A Crucial Night in a Tight Race:

The debate could not have come at a more critical time, with polls showing a close contest between the two candidates. A survey by The New York Times and Siena College, released on the eve of the debate, gave Trump a slight edge with nearly 48 percent support, compared to Biden’s 44 percent. This first face-off was seen as an opportunity for both men to solidify their support and make their case for their respective visions of the country’s future.

Trump sought to portray the US as being in decline under Biden’s leadership, while the current president defended the nation’s standing on the world stage. “I’ve never heard a president talk like this before. We’re the envy of the world,” Biden asserted. “Name me a single major country that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America… No one thinks we’re weak.”

However, Trump fired back, accusing Biden of wasting time and allowing the country to be destroyed. “Joe, our country is being destroyed as you and I sit up here,” he interjected. Political observers noted that the debate performance could further widen the gap between the candidates, with many commenting on Trump’s commanding stage presence compared to Biden’s more uncertain demeanor.

Al Jazeera correspondent Alan Fisher captured the sentiment when he said, “Yep, Joe Biden called out Donald Trump on his lies, on his falsehoods, his exaggerations… But Donald Trump looked as if he was in command. Biden didn’t finish thoughts. He looked confused on certain points. And this was a bad night for him.”

An Unusual Debate:

The first 2024 presidential debate was unusual for several reasons. Firstly, it took place exceptionally early in the election cycle, pushed forward by both candidates to avoid clashing with early voting in some states. This meant that the debate occurred even before the major party conventions, where the candidates are typically officially named as their party’s nominee.

Additionally, Biden and Trump organized the debates directly with CNN, bypassing the usual bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates. These factors set the stage for a unique and highly anticipated event.

Clashing on Immigration and Abortion:

The debate saw the candidates clash on several key issues, including immigration and abortion. Trump leveled heated anti-immigrant rhetoric at Biden, accusing him of wanting open borders and claiming that this would lead to an increase in crime and violence. “He wants our country to either be destroyed or he wants to pick up those people as voters,” Trump alleged, with Biden forcefully pushing back, citing studies that show immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than US-born citizens.

The discussion took a particularly intense turn when Trump made erroneous claims about late-term abortion, asserting that Biden and Democrats supported “ripping the baby out of the womb in the ninth month.” Biden vehemently denied this, stating clearly, “You’re lying. That is simply not true. We are not for late-term abortion, period.”

Ad Hominem Attacks and Golf:

At several points, the debate devolved into ad hominem attacks, with each candidate accusing the other of lying and whining. In a somewhat bizarre exchange, they even compared their golf games, with Biden challenging Trump to carry his own golf bag and Trump mocking Biden’s swing.

Biden also brought up reports that Trump had referred to veterans as “suckers and losers,” a particularly personal attack given the Democratic president’s own history of loss with his son, Beau Biden. “My son was not a loser or a sucker. You are a loser. You are a sucker,” Biden said, his voice filled with emotion. Trump, however, denied the reports, claiming they were a fabrication and demanding an apology from Biden.

Charlottesville and Existential Threats:

When Biden pressed Trump about his controversial response to the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists marched with tiki torches, Trump deflected, claiming that the current state of the country under Biden was far worse. “For three and a half years, we’ve been living in hell,” he said. “This is a hundred times Charlottesville, a thousand times Charlottesville.”

Despite criticisms of Biden’s performance, Democrats quickly rallied around their president in the hours following the debate. They reiterated their long-held concerns that Trump and his supporters pose an existential threat to US democracy. California Governor Gavin Newsom defended Biden, saying, “You don’t turn your back because of one performance. What kind of party does that? This president has delivered. We need to deliver for him at this moment.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, acknowledged that while there were some weaknesses, Biden ultimately delivered a strong performance. “Yes, there was a slow start, but it was a strong finish,” she told CNN. However, there are whispers within the party about the possibility of replacing Biden with a different candidate if he continues to falter, although the consensus is that there is still time for him to turn things around before the election in five months.

Looking Ahead:

With the first debate now behind them, both candidates will be reflecting on their performances and strategizing for the next encounter. Political observers are already anticipating the second presidential debate, scheduled for September 10, where Biden will have another chance to face off against Trump and perhaps close the gap that has opened up between them.

This early debate has certainly shaken up the race for the White House, and with Trump appearing to have the upper hand, the pressure is now on Biden to regroup and come back stronger if he hopes to secure a second term as president. The next few months promise to be a thrilling and pivotal time in American politics.

Fact-Checking the Debate:

It is worth noting that, as with previous encounters between these two candidates, some fact-checking is necessary following the debate. Trump’s claims about the economy during his tenure, for example, require context, as the US economy was already on an upward trajectory before he took office, and his tax cuts and trade wars had a mixed impact on economic growth.

Additionally, Trump’s assertion that Biden supports open borders is a misrepresentation of the Democratic president’s immigration policies, which focus on reform and a more humane approach to border control, rather than completely unrestricted entry.

Furthermore, Trump’s comments about late-term abortion and his characterization of Democrats’ positions on the issue are misleading and have been used by Republicans to stoke fears, when in reality, late-term abortions are extremely rare and often involve tragic circumstances.

Finally, Biden’s comment about the US being the “envy of the world” may be seen as somewhat optimistic, given the country’s struggles with political polarization, gun violence, and the very public and contentious debates around issues like abortion and immigration. However, Biden’s statement speaks to the idealistic view of America that many around the world still aspire to, even if the reality falls short at times.

In Conclusion:

The first 2024 US presidential debate will go down as a pivotal moment in this election cycle, with Trump’s strong performance giving him a boost in the polls and Biden facing an uphill battle to regain his footing. While the debate was certainly a break from tradition in terms of its timing and organization, it served its purpose in bringing the candidates’ opposing visions for the country into sharp relief.

As the race continues, Americans can expect more heated exchanges, more intense campaigning, and, hopefully, a deeper exploration of the issues that matter most to voters. The future of the country hangs in the balance, and the outcome of this election will have profound implications for the US and its place in the world.

For now, all eyes are on Biden and whether he can recover from this initial setback. The pressure is on, and the world is watching.

Carol Jones
Author
CAROL JONES

Carol Jones is one of the fastest-growing lawyer in the United States. His professional focus is on criminal law, and he often assists clients in resolving their most difficult legal issues. Admiralty law, business litigation, intellectual property issues, class actions, and individual injuries are the mainstays of his work.

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