Biden camp denies report it's 'freaking out' about debate

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE’s campaign dismissed reports that staffers are “freaking out” about his performance during the second round of Democratic presidential debates on Thursday night.

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Olivia Nuzzi, the Washington correspondent for New York magazine, tweeted on Thursday night that a source close to Biden’s campaign told her that his staff is “‘freaking out’ about his poor performance tonight.”

“The source said that internally, field staff says the campaign-organized debate watch parties in early voting states have been ‘awkward’ and that Biden isn’t playing well to those who attended,” she continued. 

“According to Biden’s staff, he isn’t listening to his debate prep and he’s ‘set in his ways,’ the source close to the campaign tells me,” she added. 

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The Biden campaign was quick to respond to the reports, shooting down the notion they were upset with Biden’s performance.

Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield tweeted a one-word response minutes after Nuzzi’s tweet: “Nope.”

 

In a message to supporters later in the evening, Biden’s campaign also said the former vice president was “on fire” during the debate.

 

Biden struggled in the debate, taking fire from rivals, including Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) in the night’s most notable moment. 

Harris pressed Biden on his recent seemingly warm words for two Southern segregationists senators he served with in the 1970s and ’80s. She also brought up Biden’s past opposition to school busing.

Harris noted that she had been a beneficiary of busing as a child and said Biden’s comments about the segregationist senators, the late James Eastland (D-Miss) and Herman Talmadge (D-Ga.), were “hurtful.”

Biden defended himself, saying he opposed busing by the Department of Education and believed the issue should be decided at a local level.

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