Was Joe Biden the winner of the GOP debate?: The Republicans clashed on stage in the first debate Wednesday night, with Trump absent and no one candidate emerging as the consensus winner. Why that might be good news for the incumbent president.
Joe Biden Wins?
The primary debate season officially began Wednesday night, when eight Republican candidates — but not frontrunner Donald Trump — debated in Wisconsin.
The debate featured lots of contentious moments and different candidates sparring over abortion, funding for Ukraine, and whether or not Trump should be pardoned.
Meanwhile, one op-ed argues that the big winner of the night was… President Biden.
In a piece for The Hill, former Congressman Steve Israel argues that Biden should be considered the rightful winner of the debate.
“Two hours of canned lines, thrown punches, and awkward body language (it seems like it hurts Ron DeSantis to smile) resulted in two fundamental problems for Republicans,” Israel writes.
“First, nothing changed the dynamics of the Republican primary. Former President Trump had a wide lead over his GOP opponents when the debate began; that won’t change for the foreseeable future,” he said. “Second, instead of showcasing a strong, confident Republican Party, the debate exposed serious rifts in ideology — a party drifting from its moorings.”
Israel added that Ronald Reagan, whose presidential library hosts the second debate, would likely be “rolling in his grave” over some of what was said during the debate, including those who proposed dropping U.S. support of Ukraine against Russia.
The former Congressman also noted that it can’t be bad for Biden that Republicans in the debate kept sharing very unpopular positions, including full bans on abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and more.
“For a MAGA primary, the debate did little to shake the king from his throne. For a general election, it reminded non-MAGA voters why they should reelect Biden,” Israel wrote.
The anti-Trump writer also acknowledged that he missed Trump’s presence at the debate.
“ It was like going to a Broadway show and learning that the star isn’t performing, and there’s not even an understudy — just a bunch of people auditioning for the part.”
Israel wasn’t the only person who called Biden the big winner of Wednesday night’s debate. Peter Roff wrote an op-ed for Newsweek saying the same thing.
“That’s a shame. No candidate had a breakout moment, the kind of thing the pundit class looks for as a signal that someone might be breaking out of the pack. Nevertheless, Ramaswamy consistently presented the best formulations of the kinds of ideas on domestic policy needed to wrest the nomination from Trump and to beat Joe Biden,” Roff said of the debate. The author, in the previous paragraph, had accused Ramaswamy of displaying “entitled, millennial arrogance.”
So why did Joe Biden win?
“The attacks on his record were uniformly weak, lacking in specifics and landing with the dull splat of a handful of wet noodles. His policies have weakened the nation’s economy, driven inflation to heights not seen since the 1970s, and pushed the dream of home ownership out of the reach of first-time homebuyers as the Federal Reserve took steps to bring that inflation down,” Roff writes.
Biden will not be debating during the primary season. As Biden faces only token opposition in the Democratic primary, the Democratic National Committee will not be sanctioning debates this cycle.
Will Biden end up debating the eventual Republican nominee? That’s not clear. The Republican National Committee, in 2022, pulled out of the Commission on Presidential Debates, the entity that has supervised the general election presidential debates in recent elections.
USA Today reported this week that Biden has not committed to participate in general election debates.
“To be honest with you, we haven’t had any substantive conversations about that yet,” Michael Tyler, the Biden campaign’s communications director, told reporters this week.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this week that GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel warned Trump recently that if he skipped the primary debates, it would open the door for Biden to take a pass on general election debates.
Author Expertise and Experience
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Stephen has authored thousands of articles over the years that focus on politics, technology, and the economy for over a decade. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.
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