Biden falls flat against Trump in first 2024 US presidential debate

In the first debate of the 2024 US presidential race, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump sought to break a deadlock. Biden opened Thursday's gathering, but he seemed to fumble for words at times.

The two candidates debated for the first time since October 2020 at CNN's Atlanta studios on Thursday night.

Rusty on stage?

Since neither had participated in a public discussion in years, many political analysts questioned if they would be rusty.

Biden spent the week before the debate at Camp David in Maryland, where advisers helped him practice simulated debates. Trump maintained his rally itinerary.

The night was significant for Trump and Biden as they sought to establish different US ideals. Trump suggested Biden's presidency sank the nation. Biden defended the US's global standing.

A critical night in a tight race

I've never heard a president speak like this. The world envies us. “Name me a major country that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America,” Biden remarked.

Biden and Trump wanted to postpone the first presidential debate to June to avoid early voting, which begins in some states in September.

Unusual event with familiar talking point

That set the 2024 inaugural discussion before of even the main party conventions, where the Democratic and Republican nominees are announced.

At times, the debate descended into candidates accusing one other of lying or whining.

Ad hominem attack

They even compared golf games, with Biden asking Trump to carry his own bag and Trump ridiculing Biden's swing.

Democrats rallied around Trump in the hours after the debate, echoing claims that Trump threatens US democracy.

Democrats rally around the president

“One performance doesn't turn you back. Questioning Biden's resignation, California Governor Gavin Newsom questioned, "What kind of party does that?" “This president delivered. We must deliver for him now.”

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