MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says ‘I love Joe Biden’ but questions fitness for office after debate showing

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says ‘I love Joe Biden’ but questions fitness for office after debate showing

After Thursday night’s CNN Presidential Debate, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough declared his “love” for President Biden but admitted that his performance against former President Trump calls into question whether Biden should be running for re-election. 

Scarborough opened his Friday morning monologue about Biden’s debate performance with a long list of the president’s accomplishments while in office, before suggesting that Biden might need to step down.

“If he were CEO and he turned in a performance like that, would any corporation in America, any Fortune 500 corporation in America keep him on as CEO?” the host asked.

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MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about President Biden’s first debate performance against former President Donald Trump in the 2024 election cycle. (Screenshot/MSNBC)

Scarborough’s doubts about Biden’s fitness for a second term echoed a myriad of other concerned responses from liberal pundits who admitted that his poor debate performance signals he may not be up to the task of beating Trump and that he might need to be replaced before November.

The MSNBC host made it very clear that this criticism was painful to make considering how much “love” he has for Biden, who he said has been an “unqualified success as president.”

“Well, I think I should start by saying, without any apologies, that I love Joe Biden and Jill, and I will gladly debate anybody anytime anyplace, anywhere over the issue of whether Joe Biden has been the most effective president in passing bipartisan legislation, in expanding NATO, in responding to the rising threat coming from China … by having the strongest economy in the world, bar none, the strongest economy, actually, relative to the rest of the world in 50, 60, 70 years, the strongest dollar in half a century, the strongest military relative to the rest of the world.”

However, Scarborough said the threat Trump poses to the country if he wins a second term is possibly too grave for Democrats to take a risk on Biden following the debate. 

“If, however, you believe, as do I, and as do so many people who watch this program, and who fear just how dark of a place a second Donald Trump term will take America, then I think it is critical that we ask the same questions about this man I love, respect, and whose public service in saving this country from Donald Trump over the last three and a half years I honor and always will,” Scarborough said.

He also criticized Biden’s inability to handle Trump during the evening.

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Joe Biden, Donald Trump

President Biden and former President Trump debated on Thursday night.  (Getty Images)

“And Joe Biden couldn’t respond to any of those lies. In fact, as The New York Times said, he spent much of the night with his mouth agape and his eyes darting back and forth. He couldn’t fact-check anything Donald Trump said. Not only that, he missed one lay-up after another, after another,” he said. 

Later, Scarborough said Biden “tragically did not rise to the occasion last night.”

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Fellow MSNBC host and frequent “Morning Joe” guest, Donny Deutsch, gave a similar take on Biden during the segment.

 “If the truth be told, I do not believe that Joe Biden, a great man, a hero — he’s 10 times the man Donald Trump is — I don’t believe he’s our best choice at this point,” he said.

“It’s all on the line,” Deutsch continued. “Democracy is on the line, who we are is on the line, a woman’s right to choose her body is on the line, her ability to vote freely is on the line. Joe Biden is an American hero. I believe Joe Biden will do the right thing.”

Struggling to find the right words, Deutsch added, “It just pains me, but I don’t believe he’s the right man right now, and I don’t know what you do to turn that around.”

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