Sen. Warnock likens Biden's debate performance to bad 'sermon,' dodges question about cognitive test

Biden defense echoes Bill Clinton, Obama

Senator Raphael G. Warnock
Senator Raphael G. Warnock | Getty Images/Paras Griffin

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., likened President Joe Biden's widely panned debate performance last week to one of his lackluster sermons and dodged a question regarding whether Biden should take a cognitive test.

During a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Warnock pushed back against the idea that Biden should heed the growing chorus of those calling on him to step aside as the presumptive Democratic nominee amid concerns over his mental acuity.

"Absolutely not," Warnock said in response to such a proposal.

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Warnock, who has been the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta since 2005, went on to compare Biden's performance to one of his own sermons that could have been better.

"I can tell you that there have been more than a few Sundays when I wish I had preached a better sermon," Warnock said. "But after the sermon was over, it was my job to embody the message, to show up for the people that I serve."

"And that's what Joe Biden has been doing his entire life of public service and over the last four years. He's been showing up for the American people," he added.

"Joe Biden has demonstrated, not over 90 minutes but over the last four years, the character and the mettle of the man that he is," Warnock also said. "And he has demonstrated this both in his public service and in his personal life."

"His is a life of public service, baptized in sorrow, and it is why you feel his sense of care when you’re with it," he added.

Before pivoting to attack former President Donald Trump, Warnock also deflected a question regarding whether Biden ought to take a cognitive exam, noting he is "not a doctor."

Biden was widely criticized for his halting, stammering debate performance against Trump on Thursday, during which he repeatedly appeared to lose his train of thought while staring vacantly and slack-jawed into the distance.

While many key Democrats are reportedly "panicked" by Biden's apparent cognitive decline, Warnock's comments echo those of other key Biden allies who have circled the wagons for Biden to dismiss last week's debate as a hiccup in an otherwise exceptional presidency.

"Bad debate nights happen," Obama tweeted last week. "Trust me, I know. But this election is still a choice between someone who has fought for ordinary folks his entire life and someone who only cares about himself."

"Between someone who tells the truth, who knows right from wrong and will give it to the American people straight — and someone who lies through his teeth for his own benefit. Last night didn’t change that, and it’s why so much is at stake in November."

Former President Bill Clinton echoed Obama, tweeting: "I’ll leave the debate rating to the pundits. Joe Biden has given us 3 years of solid leadership, steadying us after the pandemic, creating a record number of new jobs, making real progress solving the climate crisis, and launching a successful effort in reducing inflation, all while pulling us out of the quagmire Donald Trump left us in."

First lady Jill Biden told Vogue on Sunday that her husband "will not let those 90 minutes define the four years he’s been president. We will continue to fight."

According to a knowledgeable source who spoke to Tucker Carlson, the public support from Obama is "disingenuous," and the former president wants an open convention because he is convinced Biden will lose.

"Relations between the Obamas and the Bidens have never been warm. At times they’ve been hostile," Carlson reported. "But recently, they’ve deteriorated further, mostly due to Jill Biden. In the hours and days after the debate, she kept her husband cloistered away from anyone who might convince him to drop out."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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