Biden Allies Assemble On Sunday Shows For Debate Damage Control

A team of President Joe Biden’s allies set off to appear on several cable networks’ Sunday shows to engage in damage control efforts, as the Democratic candidate works to climb back up after tanking Thursday’s presidential debate against Donald Trump.

Several Democrats spoke Sunday morning across ABC, MSNBC, NBC and CNN about the party’s stance on Biden’s debate performance, which shocked the public and has since sparked fear about whether the president is the right candidate to face the extremist Republican Trump come November.

Most of Biden’s allies have echoed the campaign’s position that, while the president did not perform well at the debate, he is still the candidate most capable of defeating his predecessor.

“Look, I think it was a weak debate performance by President Biden. He had a … scratchy, rough voice. He answered a few questions in ways that were not the most forceful,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But I think side by side, Donald Trump had a horrifying debate performance where, yes, he spoke plainly, but what he said was lie after lie after lie that left most of those who watched either confirmed in their opinion to vote for Joe Biden or alarmed at the prospect of Donald Trump.”

Other Democrats also made sure to highlight Trump’s performance and record, stressing how much is at stake should the White House go to the convicted candidate who tried to overturn the 2020 election and rolled back the rights of several groups.

Trump “was spewing out a volcano full of lies through the night” of the debate, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) told MSNBC’s “This Weekend.”

“And I say this — those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it,” she added. “We saw what happened under Donald Trump. And even four months of him, let alone four years, can lead us into a place that is going to be irretrievable for us to come back from, and that includes women’s rights to choose. So it is personal, it’s on the ballot, and don’t [let] anybody tell you it’s not there because it truly is.”

Biden indeed came back strong after Thursday, speaking in North Carolina and New York over the weekend with a level of energy that was not present during the debate. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) told Dana Bash, one of the debate’s moderators, on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Biden’s speech in North Carolina the following day “captivated the audience.”

Coons also spoke positively about Biden’s speeches in North Carolina and New York, saying on “This Week,” “He was comfortable, he was proud that he gave a strong speech at a campaign event in North Carolina. He gave a strong speech in New York. He’s had a great few days, and it’s building on a great few years. No one has been a stronger and more consequential president in my lifetime than Joe Biden.”

Despite the stronger presence over the weekend, top members of the Democratic Party are reported to be discussing whether supporting Biden as the presidential candidate is still the right decision. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi that there are “very honest and serious, rigorous conversations taking place at every level of our party,” while House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) echoed Raskin, telling MSNBC’s “The Weekend” that party leaders will continue to have those conversations with the House Democratic Caucus.

“It certainly was a setback,” Jeffries said of the debate. “But of course, I believe a setback is nothing more than a setup for a comeback.”

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) was asked if Biden should drop out of the race following his debate performance, to which he answered, “Oh, absolutely not.”

“I’ll tell you, as a pastor, for me, [Sunday is] church time. And I can tell you that there have been more than a few Sundays when I wish I had preached a better sermon. But after the sermon was over, it was my job to embody the message, to show up for the people that I serve,” Warnock said.

“And that’s what Joe Biden has been doing his entire life — his entire life of public service — and over the last four years, he’s been showing up for the American people. … His is a life of public service, baptized in sorrow, and it is why you feel his sense of care when you’re with him,” he continued. “And it’s our job — democracy is a group project — it’s our job to make sure that Donald Trump is nowhere near the Oval Office.”