Biden says highly criticized debate with Trump went ‘well’

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US President Joe Biden said early Friday that he believes he did well in a debate against Donald Trump, after wide criticism that his performance was faltering.

“I think we did well,” Biden told reporters as he dropped by a Waffle House restaurant in Atlanta for post-debate food.

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It was the first debate ever between a president and former president -- and each accused each other of being history’s worst.

Trump and Biden, who were each the oldest president when first elected, even accused each other of being childlike as they argued over their golf swings.

Biden, 81, and Trump, 78, did not shake hands as they walked to their podiums at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. There was no live audience and their microphones muted as the other spoke -- rules agreed as they open a campaign in a deeply polarized country.

Biden, who was reported to have a cold, hit Trump with clearly rehearsed lines as he sought to remind millions of television viewers that Trump would be the first convicted felon in the White House.

“Think of all the civil penalties you have. How many billions of dollars do you owe in civil penalties for, for molesting a woman in public,” Biden said, and “for having sex with a porn star on the night, while your wife was pregnant?”

“You have the morals of an alley cat,” Biden said.

Trump, a veteran of rallies and reality television, spoke loudly as he rushed through a long list of complaints about Biden’s record.

“It’s a shame what’s happened to our country in the last four years,” Trump said “I’m friends with a lot of people. They cannot believe what happened to the United States of America. We’re no longer respected.”

Trump sought to seize on Biden’s delivery, saying at one point, “I really don’t know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don’t think he knows what he said either.”

Kate Bedingfield, a former Biden communications director, acknowledged that “it was a really disappointing debate performance” from the president.

“I don’t think there is any other way to slice it,” she told CNN after the debate.

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