Graham Warns GOP Not to Sleep on Biden After Botched Debate: ‘Underestimate Joe Biden at Your Own Peril’

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned Republicans not to write off former Vice President Joe Biden as a 2020 contender after his botched debate Wednesday night.

Biden’s performance in the first round of the Democratic presidential primary debates wasn’t exactly a home run, as IJR Red pointed out.

The frontrunner was taken to task over his racially insensitive comments and questionable record on segregation by Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). He even took heat from low-polling Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) who spent the night calling on Biden to “pass the torch” to a younger generation of Democratic leaders.

It wasn’t just bad optics to be called out by his competitors; it’s also hurting him in the polls. Biden — who had been leading polls by as much as 22 points prior to the debates — saw big hits to his favorability, as IJR Red previously reported.

Despite Biden’s rough debate performance, Graham claimed that it would be a mistake to write off Biden this early in the game as he believes the former vice president will make a turnaround in the next debate and return to his position as the clear frontrunner for the nomination.

Graham explained his outlook on the 2020 race during an interview with “Face the Nation” on Saturday.

Watch Graham’s interview:


“He’s got to up his game, but anybody that knows Joe Biden, there’s not a racist bone in his body. That’s not a cliche, that’s a reality. But the narrative is that maybe it’s not his time and he’s not up to the task. I think you will underestimate Joe Biden at your own peril. I watched the debate. The policy options being presented to the country by the leading contenders on the Democratic side are their biggest problem. Pretty liberal. Pretty extreme. But when it comes to Joe Biden, I think the next debate he’s got to change the narrative.”

Graham noted that he believed Harris was a standout from the first round of debates.

“She’s got game,” Graham noted. “She is very talented, she is very smart, and she’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

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