Joe Biden’s Campaign Is Reportedly ‘Freaking Out’ About His Debate Performance

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the second night of the first Democratic presidential debate.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

After Thursday’s Democratic presidential debate, which The Inquisitr reported saw Kamala Harris call out former Vice President Joe Biden for his track record on busing and segregation and come out largely victorious, Raw Story reports that Biden’s campaign staff were “freaking out” following his performance.

New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi took to Twitter to suggest that a source close to Biden’s campaign staff said that they were not happy with how Biden fared on stage.

“A source close to the Biden campaign tells me his staff is ‘freaking out’ about his poor performance tonight. The source said that internally, field staff says the campaign-organized debate watch parties in early voting states have been ‘awkward’ and that Biden isn’t playing well to those who attended.”

Nuzzi added that Biden reportedly isn’t following his debate prep and is “set in his ways.”

In response, The Hill reports that Biden’s team denied these claims, and the campaign even sent one message to supporters claiming that he was “on fire” during the debate.

The debate’s most memorable moments were Biden’s clash with rivals, in which he appeared to struggle. Although Harris said she didn’t believe Biden was racist, she claims his comments about two Southern segregationists senators he served with were “hurtful,” and also criticized the former Vice President for his opposition to school busing.

“It was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. And it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose bussing.”

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In his defense, Biden said he only opposed busing by the Department of Education and believed the issue was to be decided at the state level.

By many accounts, Harris was the winner of the debate, per The Inquisitr. She offered many powerful responses to questions about immigration, race relations, income equality, and health care, although she wasn’t the only one to attack Biden. Representative Eric Swalwell urged Biden to “pass the torch” to a younger generation that can continue fighting for the party’s principles, and Kirsten Gillibrand attacked Biden’s history of conservative positions on abortion rights and the Hyde Amendment — although she stopped short of mentioning him by name.

During the debate, Biden appeared to have a tough time defending his position on gun control, claiming that the National Rifle Association wasn’t an enemy, and also defended his support of authorizing the Iraq war.