Biden, Trump face-off first debate: “To serve his country, President Biden should leave the race”_ NY Times

US President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have traded barbs in their first televised debate ahead of November’s presidential election.

The 90-minute “CNN Presidential Debate” was aired live on Thursday night. It was held in Atlanta with no studio audience.

Biden’s voice was hoarse from the start and he appeared to struggle at times to find his words.

Sources close to the Biden camp say the 81 year incumbent president has a cold.

Polls have shown voters are concerned about the health of both candidates, though less for Trump now 78.

The two discussed issues such as employment. But the debate sometimes veered far from political issues, even touching on golf.

US political website “The Hill” says Democrats are now “in full panic mode” after what it called “Biden’s stumbling performance.”

Some US media have examined Trump’s statements in the debate. They say a significant number of his claims were not backed by facts.

A CNN poll showed 67 percent of viewers thought Trump turned in a better performance.

Inferring from the debate, the New York Times in an editorial has called on US President Joe Biden to drop out of this year’s presidential race, pointing to his “uneven abilities” following a televised debate.

The leading US newspaper on Friday published an editorial titled, “To serve his country, President Biden should leave the race.”

During Thursday’s debate with former president Donald Trump, Biden’s voice turned hoarse. He was lost for words for several seconds and frequently struggled to counter Trump’s criticism.

Biden’s performance reportedly prompted some Democrats to express doubts about appointing him as their nominee.

The New York Times editorial says that given the danger Trump poses, the stakes for the country and Biden’s uneven abilities, the US needs a stronger opponent to the presumptive Republican nominee.

It says, “To make a call for a new Democratic nominee this late in a campaign is a decision not taken lightly.”

But it says that the clearest path for Democrats is to acknowledge that Biden cannot continue his race, and create a process to select someone more capable to stand in his place to defeat Trump in November.

But Biden has vowed to fight on. He said in the southern state of North Carolina on Friday, “When you get knocked down, you get back up.”

The focus now is on whether the editorial of a newspaper read by many Democrats puts more pressure on Biden to withdraw from the election.

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