5 Articles to Read about Last Night’s Biden-Trump Presidential Debate

A roundup of analysis from The Associated Press, Mother Jones, The Nation, The Guardian, and Common Dreams.
Screenshot from last night's presidential debate while Trump boasts about his golf game.

1. FACT FOCUS: Here’s a Look at Some of the False Claims Made During Biden and Trump’s First Debate, by The AP

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump traded barbs and a variety of false and misleading information as they faced off in their first debate of the 2024 election. Trump falsely represented the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as a relatively small number of people who were ushered in by police and misstated the strength of the economy during his administration. Biden, who tends to lean more on exaggerations and embellishments rather than outright lies, misrepresented the cost of insulin and overstated what Trump said about using disinfectant to address COVID. Here’s a look at the false and misleading claims on Thursday night by the two candidates.


2. Trump’s Lies About Abortion in America Were Particularly Appalling, by Julianne McShane, Mother Jones

Perhaps most egregiously—and preposterously—Trump insisted that Democrats “will take the life of a child in the eighth month, the ninth month, and even after birth, after birth.” Let’s break that down. First, federal data shows more than 90 percent of abortions take place in the first trimester. Research has shown that abortions in the third trimester are extremely rare—constituting only one percent of abortions—and they typically only occur when there are major medical concerns regarding the health of the mother or the fetus, or as KFF states, “barriers to care that cause delays in obtaining an abortion.” And regarding his claim that Democrats or physicians kill newborns, that procedure is already outlawed at the federal level. 


3. ‘The Stakes Could Not Be Higher’: Debate Disaster Ignites Calls for Biden to Step Aside, by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams 

President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance Thursday evening against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump—an unhinged, would-be authoritarian whose lies were glaring and constant—sent much of the Democratic Party establishment into a spiral of panic and ignited calls for the incumbent to step aside to allow another Democratic candidate to take on the former president in November.


4. Biden’s Record Won’t Win Him the Election if He Can’t Make Sense for 2 Minutes at a Time, by Chris Lehman, The Nation

une 27, 2024, may well be remembered as the day the great fiction of Democratic credentialism unraveled, in full view of an American nation watching the first presidential debate of the election cycle. To say that President Joe Biden was not up to the challenge is to be incredibly generous. From the moment he walked onstage, muttering “Hello, folks” to no one in particular, he was a man out of sync with everything. He stumbled over nearly every reply to questions from CNN moderators Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, consistently losing his train of thought, and landed several times on a complete malapropism. In an early question about tax policy, Biden finished with this out-of-nowhere formulation: “We finally beat Medicare.” 


5. The Only Silver Lining to Biden’s Painful Performance? US Voters Had Already Made Up Their Minds, by Emma Brockes, The Guardian

These debates don’t move the needle. They exist in the absence of any better ideas on how to engage the electorate. Americans are so polarised that no one is changing their minds. If Biden’s performance was terrible, one could self-soothe with the observation that it hardly matters at this stage; which is, of course, the most terrifying conclusion of all.


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Picture of Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko

Cyril Mychalejko is the Editor-in-Chief of the Bucks County Beacon. Read his columns on Sundays and follow him on Twitter.

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