Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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Opinion

Despite Biden’s stumble, rambling Trump can’t win debate

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Ruben Navarrette

Columnist, host & author

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The first presidential debate of 2024 resulted in what many believe was a clear winner and loser. President Joe Biden’s performance was universally panned, affecting his fundraising efforts and intensifying calls for his ousting. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, despite being criticized for his false claims during the debate, has kept a low profile, opting to keep the spotlight on the president.

Watch the above video as Straight Arrow News contributor Ruben Navarrette argues that both candidates lost the debate, though for different reasons. Navarrette says that while the president was “incoherent at times,” Trump was a rambling liar.


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Following is an excerpt from the above video:

The former president refused to own up to anything that he has previously said or done. It was like a whole new Trump had fallen from the sky and landed on the debate stage in Atlanta. A prime example of Trump’s convenient memory lapses came at that moment in the debate when CNN co-moderator Jake Tapper asked the candidate about how, when it comes to the explosive immigration issue, Trump had promised his followers that he will carry out “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” Tapper asked whether that meant Trump was prepared to deport every undocumented immigrant, including those who have jobs, spouses who are U.S. citizens, and even those who’ve lived here for decades.

And if so, Tapper asked, how would Trump pull this off? Guess what? The likely Republican presidential candidate wanted no part of that question. Instead, Trump bobbed and weaved and meandered, and over the next few minutes, he touched on everything from fighting terrorism to combating crime to sealing the border to taking better care of our veterans.


Interested in different perspectives? Have a look at how our other contributors view this issue from across the political spectrum:

Star Parker: Debate disaster raises questions about Biden’s capacity to lead.

Jordan Reid: Despite poor debate performance, Biden deserves our support.

Dr. Rashad Richey: Americans deserve younger candidates, better ideas.

in some respects the political parties are very much alike. When it comes to how they play the game and how they obtain and keep power, they’re pretty much the same. And fleecing donors being inconsistent breaking promises, abandoning principles lacking courage, and practicing situational ethics. They are mirror images of one another. Yet in other ways, the parties are quite different, and only different in what they say they believe or the values they claim to hold. That’s all nonsense. It changes with the wind, depending on the only thing that really matters getting reelected. What I’m talking about is what’s going on right now. It has to do with the very different places that the parties find themselves in regarding what we could call candidate compatibility. Now that the whole world has witnessed President Biden’s harrowing cognitive decline, which is on display in an excruciating debate between him and former President Donald Trump, Democrats are tiptoeing around an uncomfortable conversation about whether Biden should even be their candidate. Meanwhile, in alternative universe, Trump seems like a perfect match for the present day Republican Party, and frankly, not in ways that are very flattering to either. For example, neither Trump nor the GOP believes in accountability, or owning up to their mistakes, missteps or misstatements. Neither one believes in owning up to pass proposals, policies or promises. Both have conveniently short memories when it comes to some of their more outrageous ideas. In fact, it’s like they just spout off these crazy ideas to inflame the base with no intention of keeping their promises, and actually doing what they say they’re going to do. So later, when they’re asked about this crazy stuff, they say, Well, I don’t remember saying that or they ducked the question altogether. Trump did a lot of ducking at the debate. That’s one reason why despite Biden’s incredibly poor performance, it’s impossible to declare trump the winner. I’m sorry. But with both candidates at one point, bickering over golf scores. No one won that pitiful debate. both combatants lost. I’ll be it for different reasons. Biden was incoherent and confused, but Trump took dishonesty and rambling to a whole new level. The former president refused to own up to anything that he has previously said or done. It was like a whole new Trump had fallen from the sky and landed on the debate stage in Atlanta. A prime example of Trump’s convenient memory lapses came at that moment in the debate, when CNN co moderator Jake Tapper asked the candidate about how when it comes to the explosive immigration issue, Trump had promised his followers that he will carry out quote, the largest domestic deportation operation in American history in quote, tapper asked whether that meant Trump was prepared to deport every undocumented immigrant, including those who have jobs, spouses who are US citizens, and even those who’ve lived here for decades. And if so, tapper asked, How would trump pulled this off? Guess what the likely Republican presidential candidate wanted no part of that question. Instead, Trump bobbed and weaved in meandered, and over the next few minutes, he touched on everything, from fighting terrorism, to combating crime to sealing the border to taking better care of our veterans. But Trump didn’t say a word, not one solitary word about what the question dealt with, which is his promise to give mass deportations try this despite the fact that Trump makes that threat all the time on the stump when quoting the racist and Nativists who inhabit mega world. Remember the old GOP? GOP? Oh, gee, if you will. I do. In the era of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, the 80s and 90s. Republicans preached a lot about the need to make better choices and take responsibility for our mistakes. Where did those folks go? What happened to accountability? Why aren’t Republicans who advertise their strength and resolve brave enough to own up to their own words and actions? I guess for all they’re huffing and puffing. They’re just not tough enough to confront themselves.

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