An MSNBC panel panned Joe Biden's performance at Wednesday's Democratic primary debate while discussing his frontrunner status on Friday.
MSNBC senior politics editor Beth Fouhy agreed with Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright that Biden has enjoyed steady support but criticized the Democratic frontrunner's debate performance. "What it says to me is to echo your point, is that Joe Biden has been able to stay on top of that top tier consistently throughout, despite all this hand-wringing that everybody has done," Fouhy said. "Certainly after the first debate where he looked shaky under that assault from Kamala Harris. But even after this next one where he did look better prepared than the first debate, but he was halting, he seemed to forget words in the middle of his sentences."
"A lot of the answers would trail off," host Chris Jansing added.
Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.) went after Biden in the first Democratic debate, in what was widely seen as a loss for Biden. The former vice president came under fire again in the second debate on Wednesday, including from Harris and Senators Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.). Biden has remained at the top of Democratic primary polls.
The attacks on Biden during the Wednesday debate were seen by many in the media as attacks on Barack Obama's presidency. MSNBC analyst Rick Tyler called the attacks "disturbing," and MSNBC host Joy Reid was puzzled by the candidates' attacks on the former president. "It was an odd strategy to me … It's almost as if the debate forgot who's president, because the attacks on Donald Trump, I don't remember his name being mentioned that much," Reid said, adding, "Hit the president! Donald Trump is supposed to be who you're running against, not Barack Obama."