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Jon Stewart critical of White House messaging on Biden’s health

Comedian Jon Stewart took aim at President Biden’s team for its “bulls‑‑‑” spin on the president’s poor debate performance last month, as calls for him to withdraw from the race continue to mount.

Stewart criticized Biden and his allies over how they have been spinning the postdebate coverage during Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show.” He played some clips of Biden’s verbal gaffes in recent months, with Stewart noting there’s been “some troubling moments of disconnect” for Biden even before the debate.

“Then of course, to be fair, State of the Union — concern dropped a little bit at the State of the Union. He kind of nailed it. But then the debate happened, and we kind of, what the f‑‑‑?,” he said.


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“Now to my mind, the debate was a shocking display of cognitive difficulty recognizable to, unfortunately, anybody who’s dealt with aging parents, and it’s a hard watch,” he added, before noting that some viewers felt Biden’s performance “was not as noteworthy as Biden’s opponent in the debate.”

He then played clips of Democrats who pointed out that former President Trump made numerous false claims during the debate. He then noted that there was difference between Trump’s and Biden’s performances.

“I will tell you the difference. The difference is Trump delivered at the debate to expectation. We expect him to be f‑‑‑ing crazy. But Biden’s performance and inability to articulate at times was stunning. Like, I could not believe what I was watching,” he said.

He then said things “got worse” after the debate, pointing to some excuses Democrats, Biden and the White House made for the president’s rocky showing. This included White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explaining that Biden had a cold that night and was jet-lagged from his recent foreign travel.

“He’d been home for almost two weeks. He was jet-lagged? How big is that f‑‑‑ing jet? The point is, for a campaign based on honesty and decency, the spin about the debate appears to be blatant bulls‑‑‑. And the redemption tour hasn’t gotten that much better,” Stewart said.

He also played a clip from Biden’s interview with ABC News, when the president was asked how he would feel if Trump won the election.


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“I’ll feel, as long as I gave it my all and I did the good as job as I know I can do, that’s what this is about,” Biden said in the interview last week.

Stewart raised his voice and pushed back on that comment.

“That’s not what this is about! There are no participation trophies in endgame democracy. Oh yeah, I remember FDR saying, ‘Well, if the Nazis take over Europe, at least both teams had fun,’” he added.


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Stewart also noted he was not calling on Biden to step out of the race, but asked if Democrats could “open up” a larger conversation about their candidate. Biden and his team have reiterated that he will not be stepping down from the ticket, with the 81-year-old president saying he still believes he is the best person to beat Trump.

The Hill has reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.