In a dramatic face-off that marked the beginning of the 2024 election cycle, former President Donald Trump seized the opportunity to ridicule President Joe Biden’s performance in the first presidential debate. The exchange highlighted ongoing concerns about Biden's age and cognitive abilities, while Trump sought to capitalize on his rival’s missteps.

"I really don't know what he said at the end of that sentence. I don't think he knows what he said either," Trump remarked during his rebuttal to Biden's statements. This jab came after Biden appeared to stumble over his words while responding to CNN's Jake Tapper’s question about the border crisis. Biden referenced a bipartisan border security agreement obstructed by Republicans and an executive order limiting the number of migrants, but his delivery was marred by confusion.

"I'm going to continue to move until we get to total ban - on the total initiative relative to what we're going to do with more border patrol and more asylum officers," Biden said, his thoughts seemingly disjointed. Trump pounced on this moment, amplifying doubts about the President's clarity and coherence.

Earlier in the debate, Biden also seemed to lose his train of thought while discussing Medicare, adding to the perception of his waning sharpness. At 81 years old, Biden is the oldest major party candidate to run for the presidency, just a few years senior to Trump, who is 78. Despite their close ages, polls indicate that voters are more concerned about Biden's cognitive abilities than Trump’s.

The day following the debate, Trump addressed a crowd in Chesapeake, Virginia, expressing his elation over his performance. "Did anybody last night watch anything called a debate?" he asked rhetorically. He continued, "We had a big victory against a man that really is looking to destroy our country," labeling Biden as "corrupt" and "incompetent."

Trump’s critique resonated with many Democrats who were alarmed by Biden's debate showing. The President, speaking in a raspy voice, struggled to counter Trump’s assertions effectively. The visual of Biden, at times appearing bewildered, did little to assuage concerns about his fitness for office.

Mocking Biden’s preparation, Trump noted, "He got the debate rules he wanted. He got the date that he wanted. He got the network that he wanted," referencing CNN. "No amount of resting or rigging could help him defend his atrocious record." However, Trump emphasized, "Joe Biden's age is not his problem. It's his competence."

In contrast, Biden sought to reclaim some ground during a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he displayed notably more energy. "I don't speak as smoothly as I used to. I don't debate as well as I used to," Biden admitted to the supportive crowd. "But I know what I do know — I know how to tell the truth...I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job. I know how to get things done."

Trump also dismissed the notion that Democrats might replace Biden on the ticket due to his underwhelming debate performance. "The fact is, I don't really believe that because he does better in polls than any of the Democrats they're talking about," Trump asserted. This comment underscores the strategic consideration that despite Biden’s perceived weaknesses, he might still be the strongest candidate to face Trump.

Furthermore, Trump targeted Vice President Kamala Harris, suggesting her selection was Biden's "single best decision" because it diminishes the likelihood of a replacement. "Nobody wants that," Trump said, referring to the prospect of Harris ascending to the presidency. "I do. I'd be very happy with it."