Ten more Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Thursday evening for the second night of debates — and CNN was not happy with frontrunners Joe Biden’s and Bernie Sanders’ performances.
“Well, that went poorly,” wrote CNN editor-at-large Chris Cillizza about Biden’s performance.
Cillizza said the former vice president was “too rigidly attached to his stump speech and his talking points” and got hammered in a back-and-forth debate with Kamala Harris. And when asked what the first thing he would do would be if he was elected president, Biden said he’d defeat Donald Trump.
That answer didn’t make a lot of sense, and CNN summed Biden’s performance up as “a very shaky start.” Despite his frontrunner status, the news network hasn’t been enthusiastic about Biden lately, signaling to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh that they don’t want him to be the nominee.
As for second-place Sanders, Cillizza said he came across “as just plain loud” as he struggled to debate with nine people at once. He also kept repeating himself.
“And, even worse, there were large periods of the debate where Sanders seemed to just plain disappear,” Cillizza wrote. “Sanders' worst — and most damning — moment? Moderator Rachel Maddow read him a quote of his about guns. Sanders responded: ‘That's a mischaracterization.’ Maddow retorted: ‘It's a quote of yours.’”
“The audience laughed — at Sanders. Oomph.”
Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” seemed no happier with how Biden looked up on stage, Fox News reported. In fact, he wasn’t happy with any of the other nine candidates — Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennett, Marianne Willamson, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang, and John Hickenlooper.
“With apologies to our friends watching, last night was a disaster for the Democratic Party,” Scarborough said.
“My only hope is people were not watching.”
He rebuked the candidates for trashing each other the whole evening rather than trashing President Trump. That was the same criticism NBC News reporter Jonathan Allen had about the first night’s debaters — Elizabeth Warren, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, and Tim Ryan.
“So they’re lined up in trench warfare, ready to get out of the trenches and charge and fight Donald Trump. Instead, they all turn their guns on each other and shoot each other,” Scarborough observed.
As for Biden specifically, he said, “He was off his game. It was one of the more disturbing debate performances I have seen since Ronald Reagan’s first debate in 1984.”
CNN declared Kamala Harris the winner, along with Pete Buttigieg and little-known Michael Bennett, who has only 0.4% of likely Democratic voters pulling for him, according to RealClearPolitics.
A roundup of national polls shows has Biden first at 32 percent, Sanders second at 16.9 percent, Warren third at 12.9 percent, Harris fourth at 7 percent, and Buttigieg fifth at 6.6 percent. Those numbers do not reflect polls taken after the first nights of debate.
Here is the Daily Caller’s video roundup of the second night’s debate: