With the final presidential debate of the 2020 cycle in the books, there was a no doubt winner that came out of the event. President Trump thoroughly took Joe Biden apart, including repeatedly pressing him on his and his son’s corruption. He also landed big blows on policy toward the oil industry, criminal justice reform, and immigration. At one point, Biden found himself so flustered that he suggested the United States once had a “good relationship” with Adolph Hitler.
Of course, it wasn’t just right-wing media who telegraphed that Trump got the best of Biden. If you watched CNN, the solemn faces and desperate attempts to claim the debate was a draw were indicative of a news media in mourning.
Today, though, Joe Biden himself chimed in and basically admitted that he got spanked.
The reference to change in tone is a clear admission that he knows the President came across well. Trump took the advice of a lot of people who critiqued him after the first debate, including some of his advisors, and turned the temperature way down. That’s not because Biden didn’t deserve to get the horns, but because the best strategy against a doddering old guy like the former VP is to let him talk. Talk Biden did, and it was not pretty for much of the night.
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Over the course of the debate, Biden would end up blatantly lying about Obamacare, perhaps the biggest falsehood he’s told in the campaign (see Joe Biden Told Many Lies at the Debate, but One Was Bigger and More Insulting than the Rest). But perhaps the most damaging line was when Biden said he would phase out the oil industry by 2025, something that promises to cost him in several key swing states, including Pennsylvania. Never mind that such a suggestion is impossibly insane.
By the end of the night, Biden was completely vanquished. Had Trump put in this kind of performance at the first debate, who knows what the condition of the race would look like. Regardless, things are coming down to the wire and the President is now in striking distance. The scandals surrounding Biden and his family are having an affect. Having “presidential Trump” show up for the final debate only brought things that much closer.
In the end, it was so bad that even Biden had to admit this time was different.
(Please follow me on Twitter! @bonchieredstate)