Dem Rep—and Ex-Biden Staffer—Pans Former VP’s Debate Performance: ‘Very Disappointing,’ ‘Not Crisp’


Democratic Congressman — and former Joe Biden Senatorial staffer — Gerry Connolly panned his former boss’s debate performance last Thursday, calling it “very disappointing and…not crisp.”

Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Connolly reinforced what has become the conventional wisdom about the second 2020 Democratic debate: that the former Vice President did not make a good impression and did a poor job of fending off easily predictable attacks over his legislative record on busing and his recent comments about racist senators, by Senator Kamala Harris.

“I think his performance, candidly, was very disappointing. And I think he was not crisp,” Connolly acknowledged. “He seemed ill-prepared for questions that surely his debate team knew were coming. And I think he could have had a lot better response to the attacks that were launched against him. So he’s going to have to up his game if he’s going to win this nomination and demonstrate to Democratic voters that he’s the guy who has the energy and the intellect and the will to take on Donald Trump.”

The first post-debate Democratic primary poll from CNN showed a steep, 10 percentage-point drop in Biden’s support, along with notable bumps in support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Harris, both of whom performed well in the first and second debates, respectively. But Connolly was careful to say that the primary race is still very early and he emphasized that Biden’s age should not disqualify him, contra to thinly-veiled attacks during the debate by Rep. Eric Swalwell making that point.

“I don’t know that age really defines this election. You know, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Donald Trump are all in their 70s,” Connolly pointed out. “So I don’t think age is the issue. But I do think it’s: ‘Do you get it? Are you in tune with the zeitgeist?’ You know, the sign of the times and the spirit of the times. Do you understand the issues that are affecting millennials, people of color, the changing demographics in America.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: