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‘Obama Bros’ Go After Biden Following Calls To Resign

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Three former advisers to President Barack Obama openly criticized President Biden amidst persistent rumors of tension between their camps.

Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor, collectively known during their time at the White House as the “Obama bros,” spent the majority of their recent “Pod Save America” podcast episode critiquing President Biden. Their discussion focused on Biden’s perceived shortcomings in the first presidential debate and his subsequent interview, reflecting a critical stance on his recent public performances, Fox News reported.

“I thought it was bad, and, at times, very hard to watch,” Vietor said, referencing Biden’s sit-down interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos last week, an effort to repair the damage and rehab Biden’s election chances.

“In fairness to Biden, I don’t think that interview could have solved the political problem that stemmed from the debate,” he said, adding the interview made him “more concerned” because Biden “struggled to speak in a clear, coherent way.”

Vietor, meanwhile, expressed concerns about Biden’s inability to present a compelling agenda for his second term, which he argued is crucial for swaying swing voters away from former President Trump. Vietor also mentioned that Biden’s explanations for his subpar debate performance—attributing it to travel fatigue and illness—did not sufficiently address the extent of the issues observed during the debate.

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Lovett agreed, adding the interview “was a hard setting for him to succeed, even at his absolute best, because it’s hard to justify why it was more than a week after the debate, that it was so brief, and he was only doing one.”

“The debate was just a bad night. We all saw it,” he said. “The explanations are kind of vague… That doesn’t do enough to assuage our concerns about what we saw that night. Right? So, the explanations don’t offer anything.”

“If you’re going to raise the stakes on one interview, it can’t be another example of you being hard to understand, not because he’s soft, not because he’s mumbling, but because his train of thought doesn’t make sense,” he said. “The stakes are incredibly high. Trump is an incredible threat, but either he will prosecute that case, or someone else will, and right now, we get neither.”

Favreau said that while  Biden’s interview was “more coherent than the debate,” he still had concerns. He highlighted a lack of urgency and clear messaging from Biden, suggesting that these shortcomings might hinder his ability to recover from the debate’s negative reception. He then pointed to recent polls indicating that Biden is trailing Trump in every key swing state.

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“What are you going to do to win over voters who are undecided between Biden and Trump when you have that message with George Stephanopoulos?” he asked.

Vietor later said it “seems like a clear-cut choice that we’d have a better chance with someone else,” while Lovett argued Biden wasn’t “delivering the message effectively.”

“That George Stephanopoulos interview was painful to watch,” Lovett said. “It was a terrible interview. He did a terrible job articulating why he’s in the race, what happened at the debate, and why he’s the person to beat Trump. He’s doing a terrible job.”

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Their comments came a day after former Obama adviser David Axelrod said during an appearance on CNN that Biden was “certain” to lose the race to Trump.

“There are certain immutable facts of life,” Axelrod said while discussing Biden’s age and leadership. “Those were painfully obvious on that debate stage. The president just… hasn’t come to grips with it. He’s not winning this race.”

Tensions have reportedly risen between former and current advisers from the Obama and Biden administrations. This strain is partly due to the level of criticism directed at President Biden and the decision to favor Hillary Clinton over him for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

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