President Biden faced a challenging first debate of the 2024 campaign against Donald J. Trump. The former president appeared confident and forceful, while Mr. Biden struggled with his presentation, speaking in a hoarse and halting voice. The contrast between the two candidates was stark, with Mr. Trump delivering misleading attacks and exaggerations unchecked, while Mr. Biden grappled with gathering his thoughts.

During the debate, they clashed on various topics such as abortion, inflation, climate change, foreign affairs, and immigration. However, it was Mr. Biden’s struggle to communicate effectively that caught the attention of viewers. His difficulties in articulating his responses raised concerns among Democrats about his ability to address voters’ worries about his age.

As the debate progressed, Mr. Trump relentlessly targeted Mr. Biden’s vulnerabilities, using exaggerated claims to undermine his opponent. Despite attempts by Mr. Biden’s allies to downplay his performance issues as a result of a cold, the former president’s strong and assertive demeanor overshadowed Mr. Biden’s struggles.

The debate highlighted Mr. Biden’s biggest weakness, which his supporters had hoped he could overcome with a commanding performance. However, his inability to communicate clearly and confidently only served to amplify concerns about his age and ability to lead effectively.

Overall, the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign showcased the contrasting styles of the two candidates, with Mr. Trump appearing forceful and aggressive, and Mr. Biden struggling to articulate his responses. The event left many Democrats anxious about Mr. Biden’s performance and raised questions about his ability to connect with voters in a compelling manner.