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Biden Says He ‘Nearly Fell Asleep On Stage’ During Presidential Debate

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President Joe Biden tackled mounting concerns about his 2024 reelection bid at a campaign event in McLean, Virginia, following his recent debate performance. The 81-year-old incumbent admitted to a less-than-stellar showing but attributed it to jet lag from recent overseas trips.

“I didn’t have my best night,” Biden confessed to supporters at a fundraiser, speaking without a teleprompter. He explained, “I decided to travel around the world a couple times, going through around 100 time zones before the debate. I didn’t listen to my staff and came back nearly falling asleep on stage.”

Biden’s overseas itinerary included visits to France and Italy in June, with back-to-back trips culminating in a G7 summit. The President flew overnight from Bari, Italy, to attend a Los Angeles fundraiser with former President Barack Obama on June 15, before returning to Washington the next day.

Despite spending six days at Camp David preparing for the June 27 debate, Biden’s performance raised eyebrows. While White House officials cited a cold as the cause, Biden didn’t mention any illness during Tuesday’s fundraiser.

The debate has sparked discussions within the Democratic Party about Biden’s candidacy. A House Democrat publicly called for Biden to withdraw from the race, highlighting growing concerns within the party.

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A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that one in three Democrats believe Biden should end his reelection bid following the debate. However, the same poll showed Biden maintaining 40% support among registered voters, matching his Republican rival, former President Donald Trump.

The poll results suggest that despite the debate performance, Biden hasn’t lost ground in the overall race. No prominent elected Democrat currently outperforms Biden in hypothetical matchups against Trump.

As the November 5 Election Day approaches, both candidates face challenges. Trump, at 78, confronts his own age-related concerns, while Biden must address doubts about his stamina and mental acuity.

The coming months will prove crucial as both campaigns work to sway voters and address concerns. With the race remaining tight, every public appearance and debate performance could significantly impact the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

With inputs from Reuters