Barack Obama Says ‘Bad Debate Nights Happen’

2 minute read

Former President Barack Obama has reacted to President Joe Biden’s questionable-at-best showing at the first 2024 presidential debate on Thursday against former President Donald Trump. 

“Bad debate nights happen,” Obama, 62, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Friday afternoon. “Trust me, I know.”

In 2012, Obama himself famously struggled in his first debate against opponent Mitt Romney. On both sides of the aisle, politicians said that Romney won the Oct. 3 debate, and that Obama lacked enthusiasm. Still, Obama fought back and was able to win a second term that November.  

In the aftermath of CNN’s presidential debate in Atlanta, many Democrats have decried Biden’s performance, some sharing that the debate “hurt” their prospects at retaining the White House come elections in November. 

Obama, though, is remaining staunch in his backing of the incumbent’s campaign. He stated that last night’s performance by Biden—in which the 81-year old mumbled, trailed off at points, and repeatedly lost his trains of thought—did not change the stakes of the election in November. He critiqued Trump, 78, calling him a liar. 

READ MORE: Can Joe Biden Be Replaced as the Nominee? Here’s How It Could Happen

“This election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself,” Obama continued.

The 90-minute debate— moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash—ran the gamut of topics, including an argument over golf, Roe v. Wade, the conflict in Gaza, and the criminal convictions of Trump and Hunter Biden.

Also falling in line with her support of President Joe Bident, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared on a number of late-night news shows to posit that  Biden’s performance does not take away from his values and hopes for the American people.

“Yes, there was a slow start but a strong finish,” said Harris, 59, on CNN on Thursday night. “Listen, people can debate on style points, but ultimately, this election and who is the President of the United States has to be about substance, and the contrast is clear.”

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