Biden has no regrets on Cleveland debate performance but rues distractions from the issues

'We can’t take four more years of this president.'
Posted at 6:28 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:29:40-04

ALLIANCE, Ohio — Former Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday embarked on his version of a whistle-stop tour across eastern Ohio into western Pennsylvania hours after taking part in the first presidential debate of the 2020 election season, a debate that drawing on the train analogy went off the rails.

“Well last night reinforced for me that we can’t take four more years of this president,” Biden told News 5 on the first leg of the trip from Cleveland to Alliance. “You know I said when I got in this race it’s about a battle for the soul of this country. You saw last night how he refused to speak to the COVID crisis and the people dying and he had no plan. You saw how he made it pretty clear he’s not prepared to accept the results of the election if they were to say he lost. And what maybe was the most shocking you saw how he said he encouraged white supremacists by saying stand back but don’t stand down, don’t stand down we may need you.”

For his part, Biden said he had no regrets in his role in the way the night went. “No, no, what I regret is we actually didn’t get the chance to spend as much time talking to the American people and telling them what each of us was going to do. But I’d think you’d have to acknowledge, I think most people have to acknowledge, that for 90 minutes he tried to distract from everything other than talking about the issues, attacking my deceased son and going after my surviving son and going after — even attacking the moderator. It just made me realize that the reason for getting in this race in the first place is the awful urgency to make sure we end this president’s term."

As for the need for any debate changes Biden said, “Well look, I’ll let the debate team make that decision, but the next debate is going to be talking to the American people one-on-one answering questions; I’m looking forward to that.”

Before the voting of Election Day may come another critical vote, one in the U.S. Senate to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who could be in a position to cast the deciding vote if an election case comes before the court.

“It concerns me a great deal. The constitution calls for the American people to have a say in who's on the court and the way they do that is by who they elect as senators and who they elect as president. Now a president’s elected for four years, if it comes up in a time frame that is in fact is not, when a new election’s already begun, they’ve already spoken, but the election has already begun, millions of people have already voted. This is contrary to the intent of the constitution and I think it’s a travesty, I don’t think it should happen. There’s so much at stake and the biggest thing at stake is healthcare,” he said. “These are the decisions that people should have a say in and that’s why it should wait.”