Joe Biden’s family blames top advisers for poor debate, pushes for their ouster – India Today

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Days after US President Joe Biden’s feeble performance at the US Presidential debate, his family members have reportedly privately trashed his top campaign advisers.

According to media reports, Biden’s family has blamed his advisers for the President’s flop in the debate, urging Biden to fire or demote people in his political high command.

A report with news agency Reuters suggests Biden’s debate with Republican opponent Donald Trump followed a series of decisions by his most senior advisers that critics now point to as wrong-headed.

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Trump, 78, repeated a series of well-worn, glaring falsehoods during the 90-minute debate on June 27, including claims that he actually won the 2020 election.

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Biden’s family complained about the debate practice and alleged the President was not prepared to pivot more to go on the attack.

They also said Biden was bogged down too much on defending his record rather than outlining a vision for a second term.

The US President was overworked and not well-rested, his family reportedly alleged.

“My only request was to ensure he rested before the debate, but he was exhausted. He was unwell,” a person who said they appealed to Biden’s top aides in the days before, to no avail, told Reuters.

“What a bad decision to send him out looking sick and exhausted,” he added.

“I believe that he was over-coached, over-practiced. And I believe (senior aide) Anita Dunn put him in a venue conducive for Trump and not for him,” Reuters quoted John Morgan, a Florida-based attorney and major Biden fundraiser, as saying.

Morgan said Dunn and her husband, Bob Bauer, the President’s attorney who played Trump in pre-debate rehearsals, should “be fired forever and never let back anywhere near the campaign.”

Biden’s debate strategy was signed off on by campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, who helped him win in 2020 and was appointed in January to boost an uneven re-election campaign. Dunn, a longtime Biden aide and former Barack Obama campaign strategist, backed that strategy.

Confidence going into the event was high. Trump was convicted of falsifying documents by a jury in New York on May 31, while Biden held back-to-back visits in Europe.

To the surprise of some Biden aides, his stubbornly low poll numbers began to inch up nationally in the weeks that followed.

Advisers set up a rigorous debate prep calendar, with Biden sequestered at Camp David for six days.

An inner circle, some close to Biden for decades, were involved: Ron Klain, his first White House chief of staff, Dunn, former White House counsel and long-time adviser Mike Donilon, as well as about a dozen other policy and political experts.

On Friday, Biden’s campaign said that no staff shake-up was under consideration.

Multiple aides, not just Dunn and Bauer, were involved in the preparation, said a campaign official, who also noted that Morgan was not there.

On the debate night, Biden’s verbal stumbles and occasionally meandering responses heightened voter concerns that he might not be fit to serve another four-year term and prompted some of his fellow Democrats to wonder whether they could replace him as their candidate for the November 5 US election.

Regardless of that, Biden on Friday said he intended to defeat Republican rival Donald Trump in the November presidential election.

Published By:

Vani Mehrotra

Published On:

Jul 1, 2024

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