CNN's Axelrod: Trump 'may have ended his presidency' with debate performance

CNN's David AxelrodDavid AxelrodThe Memo: No more 'the former guy' as Biden tackles Trump head-on Biden's to-do list for 2022 looks a lot like 2021's Voters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message MORE argued that President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll We must do more to protect American Jews 6 in 10 say they would back someone other than Biden in 2024: Fox News poll MORE "may have ended his presidency" on Tuesday night due to his combative debate performance in Cleveland, with the former chief strategist also questioning whether Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenStudent debt: It's the interest stupid US maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion To stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade MORE should show up for the next debate scheduled for Oct. 15. 

“I think Donald Trump may have ended his presidency tonight,” Axelrod said during CNN's post-debate coverage.

Biden called Trump a racist at one point, a clown several times and also told the president to shut up when Trump interrupted him.

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The president responded by questioning Biden's intellect while continually broaching Biden's son Hunter Biden and his business dealings in Moscow, China and Ukraine.

"The Axe Files" host, who also served as former President Obama's chief campaign strategist, floated the idea that Biden should consider not debating Trump for the final two contests in October.

"I think Biden has a decision to make," he said.

"I don’t think the country will be yearning for these," he later added. "You know what will happen if Biden says he doesn’t want to dignify another debate? I don’t think the country wants another one of these spectacles.”

CNN's Dana Bash called the first presidential debate a "shitshow" on national television on Tuesday night, with the chief political correspondent also apologizing for being crude in describing the 90-plus-minute combative event that included multiple interruptions and personal insults.

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"I'm going to say it like it is. That was a shitshow. We’re on cable. We can say it. Apologies for being crude," Bash said. "But that is really the phrase I’m getting from people on both sides of the aisle on text, and the only phrase I can think of to describe it. I couldn’t agree with you more. The people who have been hurt the most by that are the people who are genuinely looking to see what each candidate stands for and who they should vote for.“

Colleague Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperMcCaul says US withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened Russia on Ukraine Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Texas Republican: FBI probe into synagogue hostage taker spreads to London, Tel Aviv MORE referred to the evening as "a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck."

The debate, hosted by Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceWolf Blitzer will host an evening newscast on CNN's streaming service Audie Cornish hired by CNN, will host show and podcast on streaming service The five biggest media stories of 2021 MORE, took place at the Cleveland Clinic’s Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at Case Western Reserve University’s health education campus.      

The next presidential debate takes place on Oct. 15 in Miami, with C-SPAN's Steve Scully moderating.