Collins calls Biden’s debate performance ‘devastating’

By Kathleen O’Brien, Bangor Daily News Staff

President Joe Biden’s performance at the debate with former President Donald Trump has stirred up the political scene, especially in Maine.

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden predicted in an opinion piece in Bangor Daily News and Piscataquis Observer that Trump will win the election and democracy will survive.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who was marching in the Bangor Fourth of July parade characterized the debate as “devastating.”

“I have known Joe Biden for decades and the Joe Biden that I’ve seen lately, but particularly for the debate, is not the Joe Biden that I knew 30 years ago,” she said. “I think all of us who have experienced the cognitive decline of a loved one or a co-worker or a close friend knows that it does not get better. It only gets worse.”

She hopes Biden would have a talk with his family about what’s best for him and the country.

“He could go out as president proudly and let someone else take his place on the Democratic ticket. But I don’t see that happening unless he agrees,” Collins said.

Collins, who has been friends with Biden for ages, has been very critical of him during the last few years, although he said he was “crazy about her” in a 2017 video

The senator expressed concern that Biden is not up to another term as president.

“I don’t know how one could not be concerned. Crises don’t happen between 10 and four. They tend to happen in the middle of the night. Both our adversaries and our allies were watching what so many Americans watched on the debate stage and you can’t help but be concerned,” she said.

Collins did not have time to address Golden’s opinion piece due to a Fourth of July event.

Collins has broken with Trump on style and immigration, but has called Biden a “disaster” on the border. She plans to write in Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the primary race in March, for president.

“I want to see public leaders bring us together, not drive us further apart, and unfortunately, both the choices that we have this time are driving our country further apart,” she said earlier this week.

BDN politics editor Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

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