Experts doubt that Biden can recover from debate in upcoming interview

 July 4, 2024

Any hope Democrats had of hiding President Joe Biden's declining mental state appears to have been destroyed last week by his disastrous debate against former President Donald Trump.

While Biden is attempting to recover by sitting down for an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos, some critics say that the deadline for damage control has passed. 

"Ship has sail" on portraying Biden as "young and vigorous"

According to Newsweek, they include crisis communications consultant James Haggerty. He told the publication, "Is it too late to save his campaign? It may well be."

"Here's the problem: The American people feel they are being lied to in a desperate attempt to cling to power," Haggerty explained.

"President Biden's job in this interview is not to convince people he's young and vigorous—that ship has sailed—but that he isn't lying to them about his aging, his cognitive ability, and his ability to handle the rigors of the presidency," Haggerty added.

He later remarked, "Too often, politicians and their advisers think 'How little can we say to get out of this mess' rather than 'What can we say to win?'"

Political strategists: Viewers will never "forget what they saw"

"In this case, maybe President Biden should see winning as preserving his reputation, his legacy, and American democracy, rather than his nomination," Haggerty stressed.

Meanwhile, political strategist Jay Townsend expressed skepticism about any potential benefit the upcoming interview might offer, saying, "Nobody who watched that debate is ever going to forget what they saw."

A survey carried out by CBS News among registered voters in the wake of last week's debate seems to bolster Townsend's position.

It found that only 27% believe Biden has the mental fitness to execute his duties as president, which represented an eight-point decline from earlier in the month.

Two polls show Biden trailing Trump by six points

Similarly, just 28% of registered voters think Biden should be running for another term in office, down nine points from February.

When asked why they opposed Biden's candidacy,  86% say he is too old, 71% have worries about the kind of decisions he might make, and 66% are dissatisfied with his record in office.

What's more, a New York Times/Sienna poll carried out between June 28 and July 6 found that Trump held a six-point lead over Biden. A Wall Street Journal poll conducted from June 29 to July 6 reached the same conclusion.

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