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Democratic senator ‘horrified’ by Biden’s debate performance, says campaign needs to be ‘candid’

Some Democrats are voicing concerns over President Biden's debate performance, which has been heavily criticized.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, said he was “horrified” and remains concerned about President Biden‘s performance during last week’s presidential debate, which has put Democrats on the defensive about their presumptive nominee’s health and mental capacity. 

Whitehouse was interviewed by 12 News about his reaction to the Thursday debate, which pitted Biden against former President Donald Trump in Atlanta

“I think like a lot of people I was pretty horrified by the debate,” Whitehouse told the news outlet. “The blips of President Biden and the barrage of lying from President Trump were not what one would hope for in a presidential debate.”


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He said Democrats remain united in the need to defeat Trump. Following the debate, reports began surfacing almost immediately that Democrats were in a state of “panic” over Biden’s performance. 

“People want to make sure that…the president and his team are being candid about his condition that this was a real anomaly and not just the way he is these days,” said Whitehouse. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to the senator’s office

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The optics prompted journalists at various outlets to report on dozens of Democratic Party officials who said the 81-year-old Biden should consider refusing his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August.

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“I don’t debate as well as I used to,” he told a crowd at a North Carolina rally on Friday. “I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done.”

Other Democrats have raised issues following the subpar debate performance. 

“I’ve been very clear that it was an underwhelming performance on Thursday during the debate, as President Biden and his campaign have acknowledged,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told MSNBC on Sunday. 

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., told CNN he “thought it was a tough night” for the president. 

Fox News Digital’s Aubrie Spady contributed to this report. 

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