Biden Campaign Scrambles to Defend Debate Performance Amidst Panic and Fundraising Effort


The Biden campaign sent supporters an email detailing how to address concerns about the president’s performance in the recent debate.

“If you’re like me, you’re getting lots of texts or calls from folks about the state of the race after Thursday,” the email begins. “Maybe it was your panicked aunt, your MAGA uncle, or some self-important podcasters. It’s a tough position to be in, so I thought it might be helpful to send you a few responses.”

Acknowledging that Biden didn’t have the best start, the email lists “7 Things to Tell Your Friends After The Debate—And 4 Things You Can Do.”

Yes, the debate started rough, but voters saw what a threat Donald Trump is to the country. It was more than just lying — though he did plenty of that. Trump:

  1. Defended the end of Roe v. Wade, saying “it’s been a great thing.”
  2. Said that the pro-Trump Nazi march in Charlottesville was “made up.”
  3. Said on January 6th that “we were respected all over the world.”
  4. Defended his 34 felony convictions, saying the system was “rigged” and he did nothing wrong.

Actual voters perceived this debate very differently than those who pay attention to politics a lot (like everyone who is getting this email and everyone who goes on cable news).

Breaking news: People think Joe Biden’s old. They did coming into the debate, they do coming out of the debate. At the same time, though, a lot of people have rose-colored glasses about the Trump years. The most important thing about the debate was always going to be that people were reminded of what they hate about Donald Trump: that he’s unhinged, out for revenge, and in it for himself. And they were reminded, in a powerful way.

Flash polls from CNN, 538, SurveyUSA, Morning Consult, and Data for Progress show what we expected: the debate did not change the horserace. In fact, following the debate, our internal dials showed President Biden led Trump on key measures of being presidential, speaking to the issues that matter, and being likable by more than 20 points.

That’s because the long-term impact of debates is overstated anyway.

 Let us all remember that Barack Obama lost the first debate in 2012 (and the media panicked too!). Bush lost in 2004. Ronald Reagan lost the first debate in 1984. They, as you’ll recall, won their elections. And those debates were in October, not June!

 90 minutes does not negate 3 ½ years of results.

 Joe Biden is extremely good at being president. Let’s not forget that the guy up on stage:

  1. Expanded health care to millions of families
  2. Lowered the price of insulin to $35 for seniors
  3. Created more jobs than any president in history
  4. Vaccinated the country and reopened our schools
  5. Took the largest climate action in the history of the world
  6. Canceled student loans for nearly 5 million people
  7. Rallied the world in support of Ukraine, and expanded NATO while doing it
  8. Passed the largest national funding for passenger rail since the founding of Amtrak
  9. Banned chokeholds and no-knock entries by federal law enforcement, and restricted the transfer of military equipment to
  10. police departments
  11. Passed the largest investment in bridges and roads in our history
  12. Pardoned thousands of Americans federally convicted of marijuana possession
  13. Expanded benefits to veterans who have been exposed to toxic chemicals
  14. Officially protected same-sex marriage federally
  15. Passed the first gun violence prevention bill in 30 years
  16. Saved the pensions of more than 1 million union workers
  17. Averted a banking crisis (remember that?)
  18. Expanded paid overtime to working families
  19. Made birth control pills available over the counter
  20. Made renewable energy the #2 source of electricity in America
  21. Moved to reschedule marijuana
  22. Shifted the microchip supply chain back to the United States
  23. Put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court

And that’s really all I have time to list out here!

The day after the debate, Joe Biden gave a fiery, defiant speech, where he tackled concerns about his age head-on.

I don’t know if you were watching, but Joe Biden left the debate stage, spoke at a rally, went to Waffle House, got on a plane, flew to Raleigh, hung out with 200 supporters on the tarmac, went to bed, woke up, gave an amazing speech, got back on a plane, went to New York, visited Stonewall with Elton John, and then spoke at a pride gala for LGBTQ+ supporters.

The speech in Raleigh, by the way, has millions of views online, and you should watch and share it yourself:

Tweet by Joe Biden

 The bedwetting brigade is calling for Joe Biden to “drop out.” That is the best possible way for Donald Trump to win and us to lose.

 First of all: Joe Biden is going to be the Democratic nominee, period. End of story. Voters voted. He won overwhelmingly. And if he were to drop out, it would lead to weeks of chaos, internal foodfighting, and a bunch of candidates who limp into a brutal floor fight at the convention, all while Donald Trump has time to speak to American voters uncontested. All of that would be in service of a nominee who would go into a general election in the weakest possible position with zero dollars in their bank account. You want a highway to losing? It’s that.

And at the end of the day, we’d switch to candidates who would, according to polls, be less likely to win than Joe Biden — the only person ever to defeat Donald Trump.

Screenshot of Polling Graphic

 Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, period. Rather than worrying about polls, our supporters are getting on board.

 Did you see the awesome clips of our supporters on the tarmac doing the Cupid Shuffle at 2am on the night of the debate? The biggest rally of our campaign yet on Friday? Well, no, probably not, because the media is busy hyperventilating and trying to manifest drama to boost ratings. But this isn’t Aaron Sorkin’s fever dream. It’s Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

  1. While they were spinning out, our grassroots supporters got to work and:
  2. Raised us $27 million in two days
  3. Signed up for three times as many volunteer shifts as on an average day
  4. Attended more than 1,500 events nationwide

We even had three times as many people as usual apply to campaign jobs yesterday. Mercifully, while the beltway pundits are spending their time attacking Joe Biden, our people are more focused than ever.

Smart folks — folks that care about defeating Donald Trump and winning this election — have identified that the best way to help right now is by helping, and not by kicking their feet up and telling everyone around them to panic.

The email encourages supporters to donate, share what they like about Biden on social media, volunteer, and “keep the faith.”

Leah Barkoukis
Leah Barkoukis
Online Features Editor.

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