Former Vice President Joe Biden was the clear loser of the night, not only rambling his way through responses, and at many points making completely incoherent statements, but failing to give a strong defense of his son, Hunter, over his gig at Burisma while he was vice president overseeing Ukraine policy—an issue he should have been more than prepared to discuss.
Here are some examples of why Biden crashed and burned last night:
1. He largely dodged Anderson Cooper’s question about Hunter, insisting his “son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States in rooting out corruption in Ukraine. That’s what we should be focusing on.”
Biden went on to argue that he never "Discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have.” CNN even fact checked him over this because Hunter himself has said otherwise.
Further, why he actually highlighted Hunter's interview with ABC is anyone's guess. Biden insisted his "son's statement speaks for itself. He spoke about it today. My son's statement speaks for itself." In that interview Hunter admitted he probably would never have gotten the job with Burisma if his last name weren't Biden and that he had no knowledge of the natural gas industry or Ukraine.
2. Biden's debate performance did nothing to assuage concerns about his mental sharpness. Below are just some examples where he really...shined.
When each candidate was asked about friendships that would surprise people, Biden at the start mentioned two people, but never discussed who the second person was.
Joe Biden says that he is going to name friendships he had with 2 people who had different political beliefs— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 16, 2019
Biden mentions John McCain and then forgets to mention whoever the second person is
Another bad night for Biden in terms of being mentally sharp pic.twitter.com/QpeGgyoFX6
He also seemed to not be able to keep Middle Eastern countries straight. He mistook Iraq for Syria when he said he would "not have withdrawn the troops and I would not have withdrawn the additional thousand troops who are in Iraq, which are in retreat now, being fired on by Assad's people." And then he stumbled again when he said, "what is happening in Iraq is going to -- I mean, excuse me, in Afghanistan, as well as all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS that's going to come here."
"Iraq. I'm sorry, Afghanistan. And all the way to Syria." —Joe Biden, fourteen minutes later.— Angus Johnston (@studentactivism) October 16, 2019
On a different note, his entire response on whether he believed Sanders and Warren's tax plans demonize the wealthy was a train wreck. It was so bad it's best to just read it for yourself:
No, look, demonizing wealth -- what I talked about is how you get things done. And the way to get things done is take a look at the tax code right now. The idea -- we have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would eliminate the capital gains tax -- I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate, of 39.5 percent.
I would double it, because guess what? Why in God's name should someone who's clipping coupons in the stock market make -- in fact, pay a lower tax rate than someone who, in fact, is -- like I said -- the -- a schoolteacher and a firefighter? It's ridiculous. And they pay a lower tax.
Secondly, the idea that we, in fact, engage in this notion that there are -- there’s $1,640,000,000,000 in tax loopholes. You can’t justify a minimum $600 billion of that. We could eliminate it all. I could go into detail had I the time.
Secondly -- I mean, thirdly, what we need to do is we need to go out and make it clear to the American people that we are going to -- we are going to raise taxes on the wealthy. We're going to reduce tax burdens on those who are not.
"I would eliminate the capital gains tax. I would raise the capital gains tax to the highest rate ever." ~ Joe Biden #DemDebate— jon gabriel (@exjon) October 16, 2019
Joe Biden wants those clipping coupons in the stock market to pay their fair share https://t.co/KKZ6aYuz3e— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 16, 2019
"Secondly, I mean Thirdly" - Joe Biden listing his points at the debate (also Joe Biden describing his standing in the polls following this debate performance)#DemDebate— Luke Holey (@HoleyLuke) October 16, 2019
3. An awkward moment came when Biden yelled at Warren on the debate stage for helping get her votes for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It was not a good look.
Needless to say, Biden had a terrible evening and to cap it off, he defended his age (he'd turn 80 during his first term), by arguing that he's running because of his "experience" and "wisdom." Good luck with that argument.
EXCLUSIVE: ??Live images from Biden’s Campaign HQ— Daniel Bucheli (@DanielCBucheli) October 16, 2019
EXCLUSIVO: ??Imágenes en vivo desde la sede de la campaña Biden pic.twitter.com/9FrOLN9v9m