Biden: ‘I screwed up’ during debate, but ‘we’re gonna just beat Donald Trump’

President Biden acknowledged his poor debate performance in a radio interview Thursday, saying he “screwed up” on the debate stage but reiterating that he is not ending his campaign and is committed to defeating former President Trump in November.

“I had a bad night,” he told Wisconsin radio host Earl Ingram in a prerecorded interview. “I screwed up. I made a mistake. But I learned from my father, when you get knocked down, just get back up. And you know, we’re gonna win this election. We’re gonna just beat Donald Trump as much as we did in 2020.”

Biden’s first debate performance raised alarms among some Democrats and supporters, with the president struggling to string ideas together or rebut Trump’s many false statements. Some of the country’s leading media outlets, two House Democrats and others have since called for Biden to leave the presidential campaign and let a different Democrat take on Trump.

The president argued that voters shouldn’t be put off by the debate, but instead look at his long record of accomplishments.

“I didn’t have a good debate. That’s 90 minutes on stage,” he said. “Look at what I’ve done in 3 1/2 years.”

Biden went on to highlight his work to lower prescription drug prices and expand health care for veterans, while also attacking Trump for his record on veterans issues and with the Black community. The president specifically hit Trump for referring to “Black jobs” during the debate, a comment that received widespread criticism from Black leaders.

“You know what he’s doing, it’s shameful,” Biden said. “He’s talking about Black jobs meaning only things Blacks can do, manual labor, menial labor. That’s what he’s doing and that’s how he looks at it. Name me something he’s done to help the Black community, give people a shot like I’ve gone with college and education and home-buying and a whole range of things.”

“This is a guy who questioned George Floyd’s humanity, led the birther movement against Barack Obama,” Biden continued. “He’s falsely accused the Central Park Five.”

The president spent much of the interview focusing on the Black community, as some allies have shown concern that Biden could be losing the voting bloc. He made an explicit argument for the Black community to come out to vote for him this November.

“The vote of the Black community matters intensely,” Biden argued. “Who’s going to represent you except folks like me? And we’re not gonna be able to represent you if you’re not showing up to vote. It matters.

“Your voice has to be heard. Lots of close elections in the last couple of years, and every vote counts. Understand that,” he continued. “For far too long the Black community, Black Americans often love their country a hell of a lot more than their country’s loves them, loves them back in equal measure. Because folks like you turn out the vote in 2020, we have made remarkable progress.”

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