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Day 1256

1/ The first presidential debate between the two oldest candidates to ever seek the White House was an embarrassment for America – and a disaster for Biden. Minutes into the debate, Biden, 81, appeared unsteady as he frequently stumbled over his words, cited incorrect facts and figures, and often paused to correct phrases mid-sentence as part of his meandering and – at times – unintelligible delivery. At one point, Biden drifted from taxes to child care to health care to “Covid” before concluding that he “finally beat Medicare.” Minutes later, after Biden trailed off again, Trump responded: “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said, either.” When he wasn’t speaking, Biden stood slack-jawed and stared off into the distance. Following the debate, Biden said he thought he “did well” and that “it’s hard to debate a liar.” Later, Biden acknowledged his poor debate performance and age, saying: “I’m not a young man, to state the obvious. I don’t walk as easy as I used to, I don’t speak as smoothly as I used to, I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know. I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong.” His campaign attributed his hoarse voice and slow start to “a cold.” Publicly and privately, some Democrats have started questioning whether the party could or should replace Biden as their presidential nominee. Trump, 78, meanwhile, was himself: incoherent and deranged. The convicted felon refused to condemn the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, refused say whether he’d accept the results of the election if he loses, repeated his lies about fraud in the 2020 election, claimed liberal doctors are killing newborn babies, mused about when “we had H20” and how his environmental “numbers” were the “best ever,” attacked asylum seekers and other immigrants, and continuously offered strings of falsehoods and exaggerations that had little or no basis in fact instead of answering the questions from moderators. In the sharpest exchanges of the night, Biden called Trump a “convicted felon” with the “morals of an alley cat,” and “such a whiner,” while Trump claimed Biden’s performance in office has been “absolutely criminal,” and falsely alleged that Biden “gets paid by China,” and is a “Manchurian candidate.” Trump added: “He’s not equipped to be president. You know it and I know it. It’s ridiculous. […] We shouldn’t be having a debate about it. There’s nothing to debate.” The second and last debate is schedule for Sept. 10. (Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg Associated Press / NBC News / CNN / Wall Street Journal / Politico)

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