Even Biden knows he flopped at the debate

  • President Joe Biden conceded his first debate did not go well.

  • "I don't debate as well as I used to," Biden said during a rally, listing off other skills that have diminished.

  • But Biden remained clear he's not going anywhere.

President Joe Biden on Friday admitted what the nation already knew: He bungled his first debate against former President Donald Trump.

"I don't debate as well as I used to," Biden told supporters at a rally in North Carolina.

Even Vice President Kamala Harris admitted that her running mate got off to "a slow start."

Biden conceded that his debate skills aren't the only thing that has diminished.

"I know I'm not a young man, to state the obvious," Biden said, his voice growing louder. "I don't walk as easy as I used to. I don't speak as smoothly as I used to. I don't debate as well as I used to."

But the president remained emphatic that he's the best option to defeat Trump this November.

"But I know what I do know: I know how to tell the truth," he said. "I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done. And I know, like millions of Americans know, when you get knocked down, you get back up."

Biden reiterated that he's up to the job.

"I would not be running again if I did not believe with all my heart and soul that I can do this job," he said.

During a disastrous Thursday night debate, Biden gave raspy and sometimes meandering responses. At one point, Trump even mocked him, saying, "I really don't know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don't think he knows what he said either."

It wasn't just Republicans criticizing his performance.

After the debate, Democrats began sounding the alarm and reconsidering whether they could get the president to step aside or even push him off the ballot. Many Democrats worry that Biden's performance was particularly disastrous because it underlined the biggest concern Americans already had about him: his age. He's the oldest president ever to run for reelection; if he won, he'd be 86 years old at the end of his second term.

"There are going to be discussions about if he should continue," David Axelrod, a former senior Obama White House advisor, said on CNN following the debate.

In a snap poll of debate watchers, the vast majority said that Trump was the clear winner. According to the CNN poll, 67% of viewers thought the former president won, compared to the 33% who thought Biden did better.

No major Democrats currently in office have called on the president to step down. Senior Democrats and others in the party offered mostly curt responses to reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about Biden's standing.

"From a performance standpoint it wasn't great, but from a values standpoint, it far outshone the other guy," Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker, told reporters, per The New York Times.

And if Biden's rally speech wasn't a clear enough message to anxious Democrats, the president walked off the stage with Tom Petty's defiant hit "I Won't Back Down" playing in the background.

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