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    Biden Falls Flat Against Trump in First 2024 US Presidential Debate

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    Biden Falls Flat Against Trump in First 2024 US Presidential Debate
    • June 28, 2024 • 26 days ago
    in summary
    In the first 2024 U.S. presidential debate, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump faced off, with Biden faltering and Trump repeating numerous falsehoods. Biden falsely claimed that no U.S. troops had died under his watch, disregarding the 13 service members killed during the 2021 Afghanistan withdrawal. The debate, held at CNNs studios in Atlanta, saw Biden struggle to articulate his points, while Trump leveraged his criticisms, including unfounded claims about the 2020 election being rigged. Trump, facing criminal indictments, used the platform to highlight Biden's perceived weaknesses, leading many observers to view the night as a significant win for Trump in a tight race.

    In a highly anticipated first debate of the 2024 United States presidential race, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump squared off, seeking to gain an advantage in what has been a close contest so far. The event, held at CNN’s studios in Atlanta, Georgia, marked the first time since October 2020 that the two candidates met on the debate stage. Both candidates were scrutinized for their performances, with Biden perceived as stumbling over his words and Trump repeating numerous falsehoods.

    (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    US president Joe Biden

    Biden, who had spent the week leading up to the debate at Camp David in Maryland for preparations, struggled to articulate his points at several moments during the debate. He began by attacking Trump’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, stating, “We had an economy that was in free fall. By the time he left, things were in chaos. So we put things back together.” However, his delivery was often shaky, leading to criticisms about his coherence and stage presence.

    A critical moment came when Biden falsely claimed that no U.S. troops had died under his watch. “Truth is, I’m the only president this century that doesn’t have any — this, this decade — that doesn’t have any troops dying anywhere in the world,” Biden said. This statement overlooked the 13 U.S. service members who died in the August 26, 2021, suicide bombing during the Afghanistan withdrawal, in Biden's first year as president. The falsehood was quickly rebuked on social media and by figures like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who emphasized the tragic event that occurred under Biden’s leadership.

    Trump, on the other hand, seized the opportunity to redirect the conversation to Biden’s perceived weaknesses. He drummed up fears about immigration and the state of the economy, and repeatedly reiterated false claims about the 2020 election being rigged. “The fraud and everything else was ridiculous,” Trump said, casting doubt on Biden’s win in 2020. Despite facing two criminal indictments over his alleged attempts to subvert the 2020 election results, Trump appeared confident and in command on the debate stage.

    The debate was crucial for both candidates, as they sought to advance different visions for the U.S. Trump implied that the country had declined under Biden’s leadership, while Biden aimed to defend the U.S.’s standing in the world. “I’ve never heard a president talk like this before. We’re the envy of the world. Name me a single major country that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America,” Biden stated. Trump countered, “Joe, our country is being destroyed as you and I sit up here and waste a lot of time on this debate.

    The night’s performance was viewed as particularly critical given the tight race between the two candidates. A survey from The New York Times and Siena College, released on the eve of the debate, showed Trump with nearly 48 percent support, close to four points ahead of Biden. Political observers noted that Thursday’s performance could deepen that divide. the debate was largely seen as a win for Trump, who appeared more composed and assertive compared to Biden.

    The debate also addressed key issues such as immigration and abortion. Trump used heated anti-immigrant rhetoric, claiming Biden wanted open borders and linking immigration to crime. Biden tried to dispel these fears, citing studies that show immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than U.S.-born citizens. On abortion, Trump erroneously claimed that Biden and Democrats support late-term abortions. Biden retorted, “You’re lying. That is simply not true. We are not for late-term abortion, period.

    In summary, the first 2024 presidential debate highlighted the contrasting styles and strategies of Biden and Trump. Biden’s performance was marred by missteps and a significant false claim about troop deaths, while Trump’s assertive approach and familiar rhetoric resonated with many observers, potentially giving him an edge in the ongoing race for the presidency.

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