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Kamala Harris defends Joe Biden after debate disaster in aggressive interview

Vice President Kamala Harris defended President Joe Biden after what many considered a disastrous debate during a combative interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

Biden, who has faced concerns over his age, faced a wave of criticism after his debate performance against former President Donald Trump on Thursday night, with viewers noting that he had a raspy voice and He lacked energy throughout the evening. A Biden aide said News week Late Thursday night, the president was battling a cold during the debate. However, he faced calls for his replacement from some Democrats.

In a post-debate interview, Harris criticized Cooper over Biden’s performance. Although she acknowledged that the president had had a “slow start,” she defended Biden’s record as president.

“What we saw tonight was the president contrasting very clearly with Donald Trump on every issue that matters to the American people. Yes, it was a slow start, but a strong finish,” he said. Harris. “What became very clear over the course of the night is that Joe Biden is fighting on behalf of the American people on substance, on policy, on performance.”

Kamala Harris defends Joe Biden after debate disaster in aggressive interview
Vice President Kamala Harris delivers remarks at the University of Maryland in College Park on Monday. Harris defended President Joe Biden’s debate performance on CNN on Thursday.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Cooper fired back, arguing that Biden’s performance was “clearly disappointing” to his supporters. Harris responded that people can disagree on style, but the election must be about “substance.”

Cooper then said Biden was a “very different person on stage” in 2020.

“I understand what you mean about an hour and a half debate tonight. I’m talking about three and a half years of performance in a job that has been historic,” she said.

Harris praised Biden for his work negotiating a bipartisan infrastructure deal and meeting with military and intelligence leaders. She said he meets with world leaders “who often ask for his advice.”

“I’m not going to spend all night with you talking about the last 90 minutes when I’ve watched the last three and a half years of performances,” she said.

CNN anchor Abby Phillips said Harris shined during the interview. “She clearly understood the moment, the challenge. She needed to defend the president. But she also needed to defend herself. One of the things people always want to see more of in her is her personality, a little more fire, a little more quickness to react even to difficult situations. She showed it tonight,” Phillips said.

CNN chief national correspondent John King said that “one of the greatest acts of political malfeasance” was that Democrats kept Harris “under wraps.”

“She has charm with the members of the Biden coalition who are suffering the most. When you go to downtown Milwaukee, what do black Americans say? Where is the vice president? Where was she? he asked, adding that she is a “fiery communicator” and “good on television.”

“In a very competitive race where all hands have to be on deck, it’s an asset that should have worked for him from day one,” he said.

CNN reported that there was “deep panic” within the Democratic Party after the debate.

Phillips said the “panic” she was witnessing from Democratic Party members “is unlike anything I’ve heard so far in this campaign.”

Updated 6/28/2024 12:30 PM ET: This article has been updated with additional information.