Carl Bernstein: Sources say Biden’s debate ‘horror show’ far from a ‘one-off’

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Carl Bernstein: Sources say Biden’s debate ‘horror show’ far from a ‘one-off’

Journalist Carl Bernstein is calling President Biden’s debate performance against former President Trump last week a “horror show” and said his sources close to the commander in chief say what happened is not a one-time problem.

Bernstein said he’s been talking to several sources who are near Biden, those who love him, support him and raised money for his reelection, but they are “adamant that what we saw the other night, the Joe Biden we saw, is not a one-off.”

“There have been 15 to 20 occasions in the last year and a half when the President has appeared somewhat as he did in that horror show that we witnessed,” Bernstein told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday evening. “And what’s so significant is that the people that this is coming from, and also how many people around the president are aware of such incidents.”

Biden’s lackluster, unfocused debate performance last Thursday raised alarm within the Democratic Party over his chances of beating Trump. He lost his train of thought and sounded frail on stage, sparking panic among Democrats, with some calling on the president to step down to allow someone else a chance to take on Trump.

Biden sought to tame worries in an energetic speech in North Carolina the next day, and he gave a brief address Monday night responding to the Supreme Court’s blockbuster ruling on presidential immunity.

His campaign spent much of the weekend attempting to dismiss the concerns and pointing to his recent appearances as evidence that he is up for the job.

Bernstein argues that while Biden can handle some events, the people closest to him say that in the last six months in particular, “there has been a marked incidence of cognitive decline,” as well as a physical one.

The longtime journalist and CNN analyst said he’s heard that there have been “numerous instances” where Biden has lost his train of thought and “can’t pick it up again” as well as a 2022 public event where he appeared stiff, “almost a kind of rigor mortis.”

“I think that what these folks are saying, and have been saying for a while, is, yes, he’s great when we see him, as we have tonight, but he also has these inexplicable moments that we’re very concerned about,” he said.

Bernstein argued Biden’s onstage presence last week shows that “we’re clearly dealing with two sets of one person, and it really needs to be explored.”