Sleepy Joe Blames Debate Performance on Exhaustion from Foreign Trip. He Had Two Weeks to Recover.

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July 3, 2024

Speaking at a fundraiser on Tuesday, President Joe Biden blamed his abysmal debate performance on exhaustion from his back-to-back trips to Europe in June. He, however, had 13 days to recover from his most recent trip, including a whole week at Camp David.

During his debate preparations at Camp David, Biden’s day never started before 11 a.m. and he was allotted time for an afternoon nap each day, a person familiar with the process told the New York Times. In his short six-minute fundraiser speech Tuesday, Biden admitted that he "fell asleep on the stage" while sparring with former president Donald Trump.

"I wasn’t very smart," Biden said. "I decided to travel around the world a couple times, I don’t know how many time zones. I didn’t listen to my staff, and I came back and I fell asleep on the stage."

Biden’s "travel around the world" included two trips in the first half of June—the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France June 5-9 and the annual G7 summit in Italy June 12-14—giving him almost a full two weeks to recover.

Democratic donors, media pundits, and congressmen have all questioned the octogenarian president’s fitness to serve another four more years in the Oval Office, some calling on him to suspend his reelection campaign.

Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D.) called on Biden to withdraw from the race on Tuesday. MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann relayed that Biden donors are "freaked out" that the president relies "on a prompter at every little dinner event." CNN’s Van Jones said Biden’s debate performance was "painful" and believes "there's a lot of people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now."

Reporters also grilled press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about Biden's age and competence during the White House’s first press briefing since the debate. One reporter asked if the president has either Alzheimer's or dementia, and another questioned whether Biden was given a neurological scan following his questionable debate performance.

Jean-Pierre responded repeatedly that the president had a cold and that with his old age "comes wisdom and experience."

Voters, however, seem to disagree. A leaked poll from a Democratic data firm shows support for Biden falling in several swing states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona.

Published under: 2024 Election , Joe Biden