Obama Offers Tepid Biden Statement: ‘Bad Debate Nights Happen’

Mark Makela
Mark Makela

Former President Barack Obama, who is no stranger to bad first debates, acknowledged President Joe Biden’s collar-tugging performance on Thursday night. And while he didn’t urge Biden to step aside, as some high-profile supporters have, he hardly gave his former VP a full-throated endorsement either.

Obama, who was also prepped by Biden’s debate coach Ron Klain before his October surprise of a debate with Mitt Romney in 2012, told followers in an X post on Friday afternoon: “Bad debate nights happen. Trust me, I know.”

The former president added that despite Biden’s performance, “this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself.”

Only 20 percent of the audience said that Obama walked away from his Oct. 3, 2012, Denver debate against Romney with a victory, according to Gallup. According to a CNN audience poll on Thursday night, 33 percent of viewers said that Biden won his debate against Trump.

However, other Obama administration and campaign officials weren’t as generous as their former boss.

“Pod Save America” hosts and former Obama aides Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor called Biden’s performance “fucking awful.”

“Is the riskiest path sticking with Joe Biden or is the riskiest path we want someone else, and anyone who says that’s not a tough call right now is full of fucking shit,” Lovett, Obama’s former speechwriter, said.

Former Obama campaign aide and White House adviser David Axelrod, whom Biden incidentally has previously called a “prick,” made the claim Thursday that “there are going to be discussions about whether he should continue.”

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