Jon Stewart, CNN Panelists React to Trump-Biden Debate: “This Cannot Be Real Life” (2024)

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Jon Stewart and CNN panelists reacted to that very dramatic — and disturbing — debate between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Thursday night.

On a live edition of The Daily Show, host Stewart roasted the performances of both candidates, and seemed massively frustrated. Stewart was particularly concerned by Biden’s performance, with the president seeming pale, fragile and shaky onstage during CNN’s 90-minute telecast.

“The one thing that we did prove tonight is that MAGA conspiracy theory about Biden’s upcoming debate performance was nonsense,” Stewart said (video below), and rolled clips of conservatives claiming Biden would use performance-enhancing drugs to be charged up during the debate. “Let me just say after watching tonight’s debate, both of these men should be using performance enhancing drugs — as much of it as they can get, as many times a day as their bodies will allow. Performance enhancing drugs that will improve their lucidity, their ability to solve problems, and — in one of the candidates’ case — improve their truthfulness, morality and malignant narcissism. Whatever magical drugs that can kick their brains into gear, because this ain’t Olympic swimming. ‘Oh, he solved the Middle East, but he was doping, so it doesn’t count’? And if those drugs don’t exist, if there aren’t actual performance enhancing drugs for these candidates, I could sure f*cking use some recreational ones right now. Because this cannot be real life! It just can’t! f*ck! We’re America!”

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But perhaps the most impactful moment wasn’t anything Stewart said. The host played a clip of Biden seemingly blanking out and losing his train of thought about 10 minutes into the debate. Stewart’s audience went quiet and gave some pained moans.

“Call the real estate agent in New Zealand,” Stewart quipped. “Sure, [Biden’s lapse is] not something that repeated throughout the debate causing Democrats across the country to either jump out of windows or vomit silently into the nearest recycling bin. Anybody can f*ck up … talking. A lot of people have resting 25th Amendment face.”

Stewart also ripped Trump for saying a great many things that were obviously false. “Everything that Donald Trump said in that clip is a lie,” Stewart said at one point. “Blatant and full. And we were tight on time putting this thing together. There’s plenty more.”

CNN’s panel after the debate was scathing about Biden’s performance (video below), with CNN anchor John King declaring, “This was a game-changing debate. Right now, as we speak, there is a deep, a wide, and a very aggressive panic in the Democratic Party. It involves party strategists, involves elected officials. It involves fundraisers, and they’re having conversations about the president’s performance, which they think was dismal, which they think will hurt other people down the party on the ticket, and they’re having conversations about what they should do about it.” King added that in all his years covering debates, he’s never received the sort of panicked and distressed text messages that he did tonight.

Political analyst Van Jones looked very grave and added: “I love Joe Biden. I worked for Joe Biden. He didn’t do well … I just want to speak from my heart. I love that guy. He’s a good man. He loves this country. He’s doing the best he can. But he had a chance to restore confidence of the country and the base, and he failed to do that. And I think there’s a lot of people who are going to want to see him consider taking a different course now. We’re still far from our convention. And there is time for this party to figure out a different way for people to do that. It was personally painful for a lot of people. “

Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin said: “I believe Biden lost in the first three minutes. I think a lot of voters probably tuned out and millions of people are having conversations with their families and with their friends if the president is up to the task, and if he should step aside. I’m someone who believes the former president is a threat to democracy. I think he is a threat to the America and we know he wants to fundamentally change our institutions. He has laid out what his plan is. I am not confident that [Biden is] the man to take him on. He cannot tell me democracy is on the line and then give that performance.”

Jon Stewart, CNN Panelists React to Trump-Biden Debate: “This Cannot Be Real Life” (2024)
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