This is how Biden explains his botched debate performance


Lerato Khumalo

Observers viewed his performance in the TV debate against Donald Trump with disillusionment. Now, for the first time, US President Biden has spoken in detail about the reasons for the debacle.

US President Joe Biden admits that his performance at the recent presidential debate against his challenger Donald Trump was not optimal. The 81-year-old blamed jet lag after two trips abroad in early June.

“I didn’t have my best night,” Biden said on Tuesday at a campaign event in McLean, Virginia. He decided to travel around the world several times before the debate, crossing around 100 time zones. “I didn’t listen to my staff and almost fell asleep on stage.” That’s not an excuse, but an explanation.

Biden traveled to France and Italy twice in two weeks last month, flying overnight from the G7 summit in Bari, Italy, to a fundraiser with former President Barack Obama in Los Angeles on June 15 before returning to Washington the next day. He then spent six days at Camp David preparing for the June 27 debate.

Officials of the US presidential office had attributed Biden’s poor performance during the debate to a cold. Biden did not mention any illness during the fundraising gala on Tuesday.

Biden’s performance in the debate against Trump had sparked criticism. The US president is facing calls to withdraw his candidacy. According to a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, one in three Democrats believes that Biden should end his candidacy for re-election after the debate.

However, in a hypothetical comparison with Trump, no prominent Democratic candidate fares better than Biden. Despite the controversy, the poll sees both candidates neck and neck in the race for the presidential election on November 5. Both Trump and Biden receive the support of 40 percent of registered voters each, suggesting that Biden has not lost ground since the debate.