‘I was sick’: Joe Biden looks for excuses in first interview after terrible debate performance

Joe Biden announced on Friday his decision to remain in the presidential race, attributing his poor debate performance against Donald Trump to a severe cold. This declaration came during a high-stakes interview with ABC network, aimed at reviving his troubled reelection campaign amidst growing concerns among Democratic voters, lawmakers, and donors.
“I was sick, I was feeling terrible… We were trying to figure out what’s wrong,” Biden explained in an excerpt from his first television interview since the debate. “They did a test to see whether or not I had some infection, you know, a virus. I didn’t. I just had a really bad cold.”
Biden’s raspy voice and wandering responses in the clip were unlikely to allay the fears of his party. The Trump campaign swiftly mocked him on X, stating, “Biden sounds great!”
The interview came following Biden’s terrible debate performance in Atlanta, which sparked panic within his party and led to demands for him to exit the race. In a bid to counter these demands, the Biden campaign released an intensive travel schedule for July, just hours before the ABC interview.
Appearing at a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin, Biden delivered a spirited speech, declaring, “I’m staying in the race. I’ll beat Donald Trump.”
As supporters cheered, Biden also attacked his rival, reading from teleprompters. “Let’s focus on what really matters,” he said. “We’re running against the biggest liar and the biggest threat… to our democracy in American history — that’s not hyperbole.”
Recent polls have shown a growing lead in Trump’s favor, leading at least three Democratic members of Congress and several major newspapers to call for Biden to step aside. Prominent Democratic donor Abigail Disney voiced her concerns on CNBC, stating she would withhold donations to the party unless Biden drops out, arguing that “if Biden does not step down the Democrats will lose” in November.
“This is realism, not disrespect,” she said.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged Biden to participate in more significant interviews. “It is essential,” she emphasized.
In response, the White House has announced that Biden will hold a press conference during the Nato summit in Washington next Thursday, although details on the format and length are yet to be disclosed.
Meanwhile, Trump has challenged Biden to another debate, promising an “all-on discussion” and saying he was ready “anytime, anywhere, any place.”
With speculation about a potential change in the Democratic ticket, Vice President Kamala Harris has been thrust into the spotlight. The 59-year-old former prosecutor has publicly supported Biden but remains a leading alternative if he steps down.

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