Joe Biden called President Trump’s performance at Tuesday’s raucous debate a “national embarrassment” and said he would participate in the next two contests but wants the guidelines strengthened to limit interruptions.
“Maybe I shouldn’t say this but the president of the United States conducted himself the way he did — I think was just a national embarrassment,” the former vice president told reporters in his first live comments on the debate as he did a whistle-stop train tour through the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
But the Democratic presidential candidate said Trump did what he “expected him to do.”
“Last night, he announced what he was going to do. … I think the phrase was now he can become really vicious. I think that was his phrase,” Biden said.
“Look, last night reinforced for me why I got this race in the first place. Last night, I said when I got into this race that we’re in a battle for the soul of this country,” he said, before hitting the president on his lack of a sustained coronavirus response and his claims that a massive mail-in voting effort would lead to fraud.
Trump, who verbally sparred both with both Biden and the debate moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, said at times during the chaotic contest that he felt they were teaming up against him.
He continued firing broadsides at them the morning after the debate in Cleveland.
“Nobody wants Sleepy Joe as a leader, including the Radical Left (which he lost last night!). He disrespected Bernie, effectively calling him a loser!” Trump wrote in a posting on Twitter Wednesday.
In another, he wrote: “Chris had a tough night. Two on one was not surprising, but fun. Many important points made, like throwing Bernie, AOC PLUS 3, and the rest, to the wolves! Radical Left is dumping Sleepy Joe. Zero Democrat enthusiasm, WEAK Leadership!”
Biden, asked at the stop in Alliance, Ohio, whether there is a scenario in which he would pull out of the next two debates, said no, but he would like to see the Commission on Presidential Debates shore up the rules.