Biden Jumps Back Onto Campaign Trail With Renewed Energy After Disastrous Debate: ‘When You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up’

President Joe Biden returned to the campaign trail on Friday, as he sought to reassure supporters after a lackluster debate performance raised fresh questions about his age and ability to stay in the race.

Speaking to supporters in Raleigh, N.C., Biden, 81, acknowledged the concerns, but pledged that he has what it takes to prevail.

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“I would not be running if I did not believe with all my heart and soul that I can do this job,” he said, as the crowd chanted “Yes you can.” “The stakes are too high. Donald Trump is a genuine threat to this nation… Donald Trump will destroy our democracy and I will defend it.”

He conceded that he may have lost a step since his victory in 2020, but sought to reset the discussion to make a stark contrast in the election.

“I don’t walk as easily as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to,” he said. “But I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. I know how to do this job.”

Biden has his work cut out for him in restoring confidence in his campaign, after struggling in the head-to-head matchup to make coherent points. He also fumbled his words and sometimes trailed off. He later said he had a sore throat, explaining his raspy voice.

Though Biden still seemed somewhat hoarse on Friday, he was far more animated and forceful than he had been in the debate. His voice rose to a shout, matching the energy of the crowd.

“I know like millions of Americans know — when you get knocked down, you get back up!” he said, to loud applause.

The president also pressed more directly on Trump’s false statements and legal problems, highlighting his conviction in a hush money case and his civil verdicts for business fraud and sexual assault.

“Donald Trump isn’t just a convicted felon,” Biden said. “Donald Trump is a one-man crime wave.”

The crowd chanted “Lock him up,” in an echo of Trump supporters’ chants about Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Biden was interrupted a few times at the rally by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, who were drowned out by his supporters.

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