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Barack Obama defends Joe Biden: ‘Bad debate nights happen’

Obama, who served as president for eight years with Biden as his vice president, played a significant role in unifying the party behind Biden during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020.
Last Updated : 29 June 2024, 03:04 IST

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Former President Barack Obama, who recovered from a disastrous debate performance to win reelection in 2012, publicly backed President Joe Biden after his poor performance in Thursday’s debate against former President Donald Trump.

Obama also sought to allay concerns among Democrats about keeping Biden as their presidential nominee.

“Bad debate nights happen,” he said in a social media post. “Trust me, I know. But this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself.”

Obama continued, linking to Biden’s campaign website, “Last night didn’t change that, and it’s why so much is at stake in November.”

Obama, who served as president for eight years with Biden as his vice president, played a significant role in unifying the party behind Biden during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020.

Now, fearing the consequences should Biden lose to Trump in November, he has advised Biden’s team to help the president get reelected.

The circumstances are somewhat different, but Obama faced a similar crisis of confidence in his reelection campaign in 2012. Underestimating his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, Obama turned in a performance at the first presidential debate that was widely panned — with just a month to go before Election Day.

The episode set off a reassessment of Obama’s debate strategy. He returned to confront Romney twice on a more combative and assertive footing, settling a nervousness that had grown within the Democratic Party after he was caught off guard in his first outing against Romney.

Obama was not the only former president throwing his support behind Biden on Friday. In a statement, former President Bill Clinton vouched for the president, saying on social media that Biden had given the United States three years of “solid leadership.”

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Published 29 June 2024, 03:04 IST

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