Biden explains Trump debate difficulties: 'Too much travel, I wasn't smart'

US President Joe Biden has claimed that his struggles during the debate with Donald Trump were due to too much travel before the performance. Biden spoke at a fundraiser in Virginia and apologized to donors. Yesterday, the White House spokeswoman said the president had a cold. “I was not smart. Right before the debate, I decided to travel around the world several times, crossing I don’t know how many time zones, at least 15 I think. I didn’t listen to my staff. And then I almost fell asleep on stage,” Biden said. “That’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation,” he added. Biden is likely to lose donors after the performance, even though he has confirmed that he has no plans to withdraw from the White House race.

Exhausted from the journey

Meanwhile the New York Times reports some officials who noted that the president appeared increasingly confused or listless, frequently losing the thread of his speech. The 81-year-old garbled sentences, forgot names and mixed up facts. The errors seemed to become more frequent, more pronounced and more worrisome. In the 23 days leading up to the debate with Trump, the president twice crossed the Atlantic Ocean to meet with foreign leaders. Then he flew from Italy to California for a fundraiser, maintaining a grueling pace that wore down even much younger aides. Biden was so exhausted from his back-to-back trips to Europe that his team suspended debate preparations for two days so he could rest at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, before joining advisers at Camp David for rehearsals.

Democrats call for withdrawal

The six-day preparations never began before 11 a.m., and Biden was allowed to nap every day, according to a person familiar with the events. Meanwhile, within his party, calls are growing for his retirement. Jared Golden, one of the most centrist Democrats in the U.S. Congress, predicts that his party will lose the White House in the fall. “While I have no intention of voting for him, Donald Trump will win,” Golden wrote in an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News, a newspaper in Maine. The outcome of the 2024 election “has been clear to me for months,” he continued, so he said he was “not surprised.” “Unlike Biden and many others, I refuse to participate in a campaign aimed at scaring voters with the idea that Trump will end our democratic system,” he concluded.

Former Obama Minister

Julian Castro, a former housing secretary in the Obama administration and a former presidential candidate who challenged Joe Biden in 2020, has also said the US president should drop out of the race, pointing to his deputy Kamala Harris as a potential replacement at the top of the Democratic ticket. Interviewed by MSNBC, Castro argued that Biden should “absolutely” drop out and that “another Democrat would have a better chance of beating Trump.” “Yes, I think the Democrats would do well to find another candidate,” he said, but he only mentioned Harris by name.

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