Watch This and Tell Me You Still Think That Biden Wants to Debate Trump

News & Politics

I can still remember when people considered Joe Biden a great debater. While I still believe he choked in his 2008 vice presidential debate with Sarah Palin, he certainly didn’t make the same mistake four years later when he faced off against Paul Ryan.

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That debate came just a week after Mitt Romney demolished Barack Obama in their first presidential debate, and Democrats needed to come out swinging. They were eager for a brawler on the debate stage, and Biden fit the bill. He was rude, and he constantly interrupted Ryan, barely letting him get a word in edgewise during his speaking time, but the media praised his performance anyway.

Fast forward to today, and Biden doesn’t even know who the president of the country is.

It’s him, by the way, even if in name only.

On Thursday, Biden held a joint press conference with Kenyan President William Ruto, and it was a train wreck. Despite the obviously highly scripted nature of the event, Biden struggled to hear questions and even answer them. And, then he called Kamala Harris the president.

During the press conference Mr. Biden, at 81 the oldest president in history, either struggled to hear or quit paying attention while the selected reporters were talking, forcing two of the four journalists who asked questions to repeat themselves. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t catch all your question,” Mr. Biden told a reporter from Kenya, who asked about whether the U.S. would increase its funding for developing countries in Africa. 

The exchange happened shortly after a U.S. reporter, April Ryan of Grio, asked both Mr. Ruto and Mr. Biden questions that she had to repeat.

“What was my question?” he asked Ms. Ryan, who asked about the security crisis in Haiti.

Mr. Biden also lost track of when it was his turn to call on a reporter. During joint press conferences with world heads of state and the U.S. president, each leader usually takes a turn choosing reporters to ask questions.

“Okay, next, I, uh — do I ask the next question?” Mr. Biden said, turning to Mr. Ruto for guidance.

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Biden accidentally revealed just how scripted the event was when a reporter indicated he had two questions and Biden said he was only allowed one. “You guys never keep your deal,” Biden said.

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And then, of course, he answered the question. Eventually, Karine Jean-Pierre had to come in and end the press conference.

Just watch the clips above and tell me that you really think Biden wants to debate Trump, or that any of his handlers want him to. Obviously, there are reasons why Biden is already laying the foundation to back out of debating Trump — a debate that Biden claimed he wanted with conditions that his own campaign set. Trump promptly agreed to the conditions, even though they were designed to help Biden. 

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If you’re on Team Biden, and you see him barely getting through a painfully scripted press conference, is there any reason to believe he will be any better at a debate?

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