Dem senator ‘horrified’ by last week’s debate, calls on Biden’s team to be ‘candid’ about his condition

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was surprisingly outspoken about President Biden’s performance at last week’s presidential debate, saying he was “pretty horrified” by a display that reinforced concerns about the 81-year-old president’s mental acuity.

“I think, like a lot of people, I was pretty horrified by the debate,” Whitehouse told WPRI on Monday. “The blips of President Biden and the barrage of lying from President Trump were not what one would hope for in a presidential debate.”

As for the “blips,” he went one step further by calling on Biden’s team to be “candid with us about his condition.”

“I think people want to make sure that this is a campaign that’s ready to go and win, that the president and his team are being candid with us about his condition — that this was a real anomaly and not just the way he is these days,” the senator said.

(Video Credit: WPRI)

“I’ve been critical of the campaign all along, so the upside is that this could be the jolt that they need to make a more compelling case against Donald Trump and for President Biden and the goals Democrats want to achieve,” Whitehouse added.

Biden claimed during a Saturday fundraiser at the home of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that his disastrous debate performance resulted in more undecided voters leaning his way over Donald Trump.

“I didn’t have a great night, but I’m going to be fighting harder,” Biden told those in attendance, according to

“Research during the debate shows us converting more undecided voters than Trump did, in large part because of his conduct on Jan. 6,” he claimed. “People remember the bad things during his presidency.”

Biden’s team also boasted about a surge in campaign donations since the debate.

“Team Biden-Harris has raised over $33M since Thursday, of which $26M is from grassroots donations,” the campaign said in a statement over the weekend. “Nearly half of our grassroots donations were from first-time donors to the campaign this cycle. Thursday was our best grassroots fundraising day ever.”

True or not, this has not quieted the talk within the party about a possible replacement for Biden as the head of the Democratic ticket

Jamie Raskin (D-MD) expressed similar concerns as Whitehouse this week, saying there’s been “serious” talk in the party since the debate.

“Obviously, there was a big problem with Joe Biden’s debate performance, and there is also just a tremendous reservoir of love for Joe Biden in our party,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said. “So this makes it a difficult situation for everybody, but there are very honest and serious and rigorous conversations happening at every level of our party because it is a political party and we have differences in point of view.”

Tom Tillison


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