Down Goes Biden
Has there ever been a presidential nominee who looked more overmatched by his opponent? Contrary to what the pundits in the mainstream media would have you believe, President Donald Trump obliterated Joe Biden in the presidential debate on Tuesday night, and it really was not even close. This was an Ali-Liston fight without a first round phantom punch. For 90 minutes, the president landed one body blow after another, leaving the former vice-president reeling with his back against the ropes, only to be rescued by Chris Wallace, the debate “moderator,” who repeatedly made the president return to his neutral corner by silencing him. Spare me the “Trump did not act presidential” hogwash. Considering that Biden received a pass for referring to Trump as the “worst president” the country ever had, called him a “clown” and a “racist,” and told him to “shut up,” the national media has zero credibility lecturing Trump about presidential decorum.
Trump’s winning strategy was clear from the start. He forced Biden to either embrace the radical left wing of his party or disavow it. Whichever answer Biden provided would be a losing proposition for him. Embracing the far left would provide Trump the opportunity to paint him as a socialist who supports the Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez agenda. Disavowing the radical left would cause Biden to lose support from the extreme wing of his party. Biden chose the latter, further playing right into Trump’s hands. “You agreed with Bernie’s manifesto,” Trump said. “There is no manifesto,” Biden responded. “You just lost the left,” an elated Trump said. Checkmate.
Not a single person who watched the debate in its entirety can say with any degree of intellectual integrity that Biden looked like someone ready to become the next commander in chief. From start to finish, Trump appeared much more energetic, and was sharp, confident, and strong. Biden appeared haggard, old, frail, and weak. The president spoke extemporaneously, while Biden continuously looked down at his notes. At times he resembled a once mediocre method actor auditioning for a play, unable to remember what his lines were on the script he was holding in front of him. “We’re going to build an economy that in fact is going to provide for the ability to take four million buildings and make sure that they in fact are weatherized in a way that in fact that they’ll omit significantly less gas and oil because the heat will not be going out...There’s many people today driving their kids to soccer practice, and or, black and white or Hispanic, in the same car,” Biden said.
There was not a single exchange where Biden had the upper hand. Perhaps it is for that reason that Wallace felt the need to level the playing field by frequently interrupting the president virtually every time he was ready to land another uppercut to his opponent. As Trump rightly pointed out during the debate, at times it appeared as though he were debating both Biden and Wallace. In one bizarre exchange, Wallace repeatedly asked the president to denounce white supremacy, after he had already done so twice. In another instance, Wallace turned into a prosecutor and cross-examined Trump about climate change.
Meanwhile, Biden refused to denounce Antifa or BLM for the rioting and looting that has wreaked havoc in Portland and Kenosha. “I don’t hold public office now... Antifa is an idea, not an organization,” Biden said. No viewer will come away from this debate questioning where Trump stands on the issues that matter to the voters. One wonders if even the most ardent Biden supporters can say with a straight face where he stands on any single issue.
Biden repeatedly played both sides on virtually every policy proposal. For instance, when he was asked whether or not he would support ending the filibuster or packing the court he said, “Whatever position I take on that will become the issue. The issue is the American people should speak. You should go out and vote. Vote and let your senators know how you feel.” As if telling the American people to vote or call their senator provides any clarity as to where Biden stands on the issue. When Trump accused Biden of destroying the economy with his climate plan Biden said, “The Green New Deal is not my plan,” apparently forgetting that on his website it says, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework.” Later in the debate, Biden said “The Green New Deal will pay for itself as we move forward.” When he was asked again by Wallace if he supported it he said, “No, I don’t support the Green New Deal.” In the words of the immortal John Kerry, Biden voted for the Green New Deal before he voted against it.
When Biden tried to blame Trump for his handling of the coronavirus by saying, “A lot of people died, and a lot more are going to die unless he gets a lot smarter a lot quicker,” the president shot back, “Did you use the word smart? You said you went to Delaware State, but you forgot the name of your college. You didn’t go to Delaware State. You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class, don’t ever use the word smart with me... There’s nothing smart about you, Joe. 47 years you’ve done nothing.”
There were several moments throughout the debate when Biden tried to be the aggressor, but his attacks on Trump backfired, either by his own doing or through the president’s rebukes. When Biden attacked Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett for supposedly threatening to overturn Roe V. Wade, Trump immediately struck him down. “That’s on the ballot, in the court, that’s also at stake right now.” Biden said. “You don’t know that it’s on the ballot. Why is it on the ballot, there’s nothing happening there.” Trump shot back. Biden was left gasping for air, before Wallace quickly moved on to the next topic.
In case anyone forgot that Trump has a sense of humor, he reminded us of that too. When Biden attacked Trump for holding rallies during the coronavirus, the president reasoned that Biden was using the virus as an excuse for his lack of crowd support. “People want to hear what I have to say. I’ll have 25,000, or 35,000 people showing up at airports… So far we’ve had no problem whatsoever. It’s outside, that’s a big difference according to the experts... Joe does the circles and has three people in some places... If you could get the crowds you would have done the same thing, but you can’t.”
Perhaps Trump’s most effective line of attack came when he pressed Biden for refusing to say the words “law and order.” This was a similar strategy that he used to great effect in 2016, when he attacked President Obama and Hillary Clinton for refusing to say the words “Radical Islamic Terrorist.” “The people of this country want law and order, and you’re afraid to even say it,” Trump said. “He doesn’t want to say it because he’ll lose his radical left supporters.” When Trump pressed Biden to name one law enforcement group that supported him, Biden was left speechless.
These debates are rarely ever solely about who has better policies, or who seems like a nicer human being, but rather about who looks more ready to become the next leader of the Free World. Trump was the clear winner by a unanimous decision. As the late sportscaster Howard Cosell would say, “Down Goes Biden.”
Image: Gage Skidmore