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

CNN's David AxelrodDavid AxelrodBiden faces monumental task healing divided country Biden leans on foreign policy establishment to build team Biden rolls out national security team MORE argued that President TrumpDonald TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform 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 BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report 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 TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial 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) WallaceRomney: Total figure for Biden coronavirus stimulus is 'pretty shocking' Rubio: Trump impeachment trial is 'stupid' Romney noncommittal on impeachment vote but says trial is likely constitutional 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.