Morning Joe: 'Massive Victory' if Biden Can 'Remain Upright' During Debate

June 25th, 2024 11:04 AM

Donald Trump Eugene Robinson MSNBC Morning Joe 6-25-24 There's too much talk of "expectations" before a debate, but wow, talk about setting the expectations bar low!

On today's Morning Joe, Washington Post columnist and MSNBC analyst Eugene Robinson said that if Biden can "remain upright" and "make sense," that would be a "massive victory" in Thursday night's presidential debate.

Jonathan Lemire teed Robinson up to discuss his current WashPost column, "For thin-skinned Trump, every week is Shark Week," wherein Robinson mocked Trump for raising a hypothetical at a rally about which would be worse if you were in an EV boat that was sinking: stay on board and risk getting electrocuted by the batteries, or jump off and take your chances with the sharks.

Robinson suggested that Biden could trigger Trump into a rambling riff just by mentioning "shark and boat," or also, "water" -- a reference to another Trump rally remark in which he suggested that overly strict environmental regulations are limiting water flow in dishwashers and showers. Get him in "Trump rally" mode for the win:

For now, Lemire and Robinson can share a fun chuckle at Trump's expense.  But Lemire should remember that—as we caught him saying earlier this week—Democrats are telling him that if Biden stumbles badly at the debate, he might have to drop out of the race.

And the sharks circling the hapless Biden would then be named Kamala, Gavin, Hillary, and . . . Michelle?

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:14 am EDT

JONATHAN LEMIRE: We know, look. Donald Trump, for minutes at at a time, can appear disciplined and on the ball. But we know that usually doesn't last. 

We know that the Biden campaign is going to try to provoke rambling monologues about sharks. You, in fact, just wrote about how for Donald Trump, every week is Shark Week. And that's where it is here, too.

We know that the stakes are high for Joe Biden, that he has to look like he is up for the job. But so does Donald Trump. And for a lot of Americans, Thursday night will be the first time they really hear Donald Trump in four years. They might be surprised what they find.

EUGENE ROBINSON: Yeah. They might be very surprised to hear Trump 2024, who is obsessed with sharks. And so, if Biden wants to trigger him, just say shark and boat and let him go off. I mean, or say water. He has this other rap about water and dishwashers. and it's very confusing.

But to get him into that sort of rally Trump mode, in which he's all over the map. He can't complete a sentence or a thought, and he's just riffing in the most bizarre way. I think that would be kind of an ideal situation for Biden.

But I, I basically agree with the analysis. President Biden needs to remain upright, make sense. Do what he did at the State of the Union. And given where expectations have been set by the Republicans, that is a massive victory for Biden. Because, you know, they have essentially conditioned the Trump base to expect Biden to fall over at the debate, or to fall asleep, or simply not to have any idea where he is. And that was a huge mistake.