From the Right



Biden’s Poor Debate Was So Infuriating

S.E. Cupp, Tribune Content Agency on

This last week of June 2024 will go down in history as one of the most consequential in American politics.

Thursday, June 27, in particular will go down as one of the most consequential debates in American elections — perhaps even more so than Nixon/Kennedy, or Lincoln/Douglas.

That’s because the CNN debate between President Biden and former President Donald Trump was an absolute, unmitigated disaster for the American people, and it alone could change the course of history.

On one side, a convicted felon, sexual abuser, fraudster and habitual liar, who lied more than 30 times in 90 minutes, impressive velocity even for him.

On the other, a wilted, sometimes lost, feeble former boxing champ, now incapable of taking a swing, let alone landing a punch.

It was hard to watch on both counts, but for Biden, whose senior moments were well on display, the shockingly terrible performance seemed painful, especially for his supporters.

The sadness was widespread, and the post-debate chatter was reminiscent of a wake.

My friend and colleague Van Jones, who once worked in the Barack Obama/Joe Biden White House, seemed to be on the verge of tears when he said on CNN, “I love that guy, he’s a good man. He loves his country. He’s doing the best that he can. But he had a test to meet tonight. To restore confidence, of the country and of the base, and he failed to do that.”

Kennedy family scion Maria Shriver similarly tweeted, “I love Joe Biden. I know he’s a good man. I know his heart is good. I know he’s dedicated to our country and is surrounded by good people. Tonight was heartbreaking in many ways.”

Biden personal family friend and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was downright despondent:

“I watched the Biden-Trump debate alone in a Lisbon hotel room, and it made me weep. I cannot remember a more heartbreaking moment in American presidential campaign politics in my lifetime — precisely because of what it revealed: Joe Biden, a good man and a good president has no business running for reelection.”

As a life-long conservative who voted for Biden in 2020 out of a deep belief that another Trump term could be fatal for our democracy, I share in this sadness. Watching Biden fail so publicly and spectacularly to do the one thing Democrats were hoping to get out of the debate — quell concerns over his age — was indeed painful.

Watching Trump use that to his advantage, appearing 10 times more cogent and capable than Biden while lying through his teeth was equally as painful.

But sadness wasn’t the emotion I felt most when the debate had ended. I was pissed.

In voting for Biden — and a Democrat for the first time in my life — even though I knew I’d oppose many of his policies, I put my faith in a decent man who loved this country to do decent things because he loved this country.


His policies have been worse than I anticipated. From inflicting inflationary economics and profligate spending, to allowing a border crisis to spill into our towns and cities, his administration has — fairly or unfairly — led many Americans to believe they were better off during Trump’s four years in White House. And that’s despite a global pandemic, racial violence, two impeachments and an insurrection that happened on his watch.

The second time around, I’d hoped that Biden would step aside and let another, younger Democrat to run — I’d always imagined him as a transitional president, not a transformational one.

When he announced he was running, I was concerned.

But even with all that, I sincerely believed Trump was and is the more existential threat to America, and that if Biden was on the top of the ticket, he still deserved my vote.

But, deserve it or not, what we saw last night is a man who may not be able to finish out his first term, let alone another four years. And even more importantly, we saw a man who in no way can beat Donald Trump.

This was probably always going to be the case, but Democrats and Biden insisted Biden was strong, the polls were wrong, he was the best man for the job.

He isn’t, and many of them probably knew it.

That they — and he — would gamble with America’s future is infuriating, unconscionable, and political malpractice. They took my vote, my confidence, and my good faith for granted.

And now it may be too late. Replacing Biden with less than two months to go before the convention is a huge risk.

But it’s one Democrats, having done this to themselves, must now seriously consider.

If Joe Biden is the good, decent, upstanding man that many say he is — and I believe him to be — he should do the right thing for America and step aside.


(S.E. Cupp is the host of "S.E. Cupp Unfiltered" on CNN.)

©2024 S.E. Cupp. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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