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President Biden jokes that he 'fell asleep on the stage' at debate

Biden met with donors during a campaign event on Tuesday, saying jet lag from recent trips to Europe had put more pressure on him ahead of the debate.
Election 2024 Debate
Posted at 8:52 PM, Jul 02, 2024

According to reporting from multiple outlets, President Joe Biden joked with donors on Tuesday that he "fell asleep" on the debate stage due to recent travel.

President Biden met with donors during a campaign event on Tuesday, saying jet lag from recent trips to Europe had put more pressure on him ahead of the debate.

“I wasn’t very smart. I decided to travel around the world a couple of times," he said.

According to reporting by The Associated Press, President Biden said he “didn’t listen to my staff” in regards to the demands of travel, and said he “fell asleep on stage” during his debate appearance against former President Donald Trump last week.

White House officials have repeated that President Biden does not intend to step aside as the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in the 2024 election. The White House on Tuesday announced a schedule of meetings between the president and Democratic governors, a press conference and an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Friday.

President Biden's campaign on Tuesday announced that it and the DNC had raised $264 million in the second quarter, and again insisted that there were no plans for President Biden to exit the race.

Related story: Texas Rep. Doggett first sitting Democrat to publicly call for Biden to exit presidential race

But on Tuesday Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas became the first Democrat currently sitting in Congress to publicly encourage President Biden to withdraw from the race.

The Associated Press cited sources who requested anonymity to say that donors and some on Capitol Hill were experiencing "growing anxiety" about President Biden's ability to win a close race against Trump.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC that concerns over President Biden's performance at the debate were a "legitimate question."

Related story: Biden and Democrats raise $264 million in 2nd quarter as they seek to calm post-debate anxieties