Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Joe Biden blames jet lag for a poor show at 2024 Presidential Debate | Pragativadi | Odisha News, Breaking News Odisha, Latest Odisha News – N.F Times

Washington: US President Joe Biden blamed travel plans that took him to France and Italy in the weeks ahead of his disastrous debate against Donald Trump for his poor performance on stage, seeking to explain a moment that has upended the 2024 race and imperiled his reelection prospects.

“I didn’t have my best night but the fact is that you know, I wasn’t very smart. I decided to travel around the world a couple times, going through around 100 time zones. For real, I think it was about 15 time zones,” Biden told Democratic donors at a Tuesday fundraiser in Virginia.

“Didn’t listen to my staff and came back and nearly fell asleep on stage. That’s no excuse but it is an explanation,” Biden said, offering some of his most extended remarks yet on his condition during the first debate with Trump this election cycle.

Biden in June went to France for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings and a state dinner. He returned to Europe days later for the Group of Seven leaders’ summit, which was followed by a trip to Los Angeles for a celebrity-laden fundraiser. Before his encounter with Trump in Atlanta, Biden spent more than a week out of the public eye, visiting his vacation home in Delaware and preparing for the debate at Camp David.

The jet lag explanation came after Biden’s advisers had previously chalked up his shaky performance to a cold. He was still struggling with the illness but had not taken medicine before his debate with Trump, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.

Biden’s disastrous performance touched off a storm of Democratic angst, escalating worries about his fitness and leaving party members to openly call for him to stand aside. To counter that, Biden this week plans to meet with Democratic governors and lawmakers, travel to two battleground states and sit for his first televised interview in an attempt to reassure anxious supporters.

The peril Biden faces as he presses on with his reelection campaign only heightened earlier Tuesday, when Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first sitting US House Democrat to call on him to exit the race and new polls showed the president’s support fading.

The president’s troubles were further exacerbated by a report in the New York Times that cited US and foreign officials expressing concern over a series of instances in which he seemed to be struggling.

Biden’s meeting Wednesday with the governors is expected to be held virtually, with many joining via video call, according to people familiar with the matter. But a spokesman for Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, says he will be at the White House.

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