Biden Ally Blames Poor Debate Performance on ‘Preparation Overload,’ Stutter

On Sunday, one of President Joe Biden’s top congressional allies defended his poor debate performance, blaming it on “preparation overload” and his stutter.

“I have been a part of debate preparation before, and I know when I see what I call preparation overload. And that’s exactly what was going on the other night,” said Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), speaking on CNN on Sunday.

In his first 2024 presidential debate last Thursday against former President Donald Trump, Biden appeared hoarse and sluggish, and he failed on several occasions to complete his thoughts.

Clyburn, whose endorsement was pivotal toward Biden securing the Democratic nomination in 2020, has been part of a prominent chorus of octogenarian Democratic lawmakers that has defended Biden in the wake of last Thursday’s debate.

Following the debate, Clyburn, 83, called Biden’s debate showing “strike one,” but he encouraged Democrats to “stay the course.”

In an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Clyburn attributed Biden’s struggles to a failure in debate preparation.

“Debate preparation can be tough,” he said, “but you have got to really do a good job of preparing the candidate, not just with information, but with style, with deflection, and the kinds of things that we did not see in Joe Biden the other night and saw it four years ago.”

Clyburn also pointed to Biden’s stutter, suggesting it may have been why the president failed to complete his thoughts several times.

“Joe Biden has a history of stuttering,” said Clyburn. “He did that as a child. All of us know how stutterers operate. I went to school with one. So, when you have trouble getting out a word, that is what comes from stuttering. But when he expressed opinions, he was on the money with the opinions. He may not have gotten the word out, but the thoughts were great.”

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