Election 2020

Strong Start: Joe Biden Starts NH Debate by Admitting He'll Lose New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

On Friday, former Vice President Joe Biden started the New Hampshire Democratic debate by admitting he lost in the Iowa caucuses and he’ll lose the New Hampshire primary.

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Biden the first question in the debate: “In the last few days, you’ve been saying that Democrats would be taking too big a risk if they nominate Senator Sanders or Mayor Buttigieg, but they came out on top in Iowa. What did they miss?”

Biden did not take the opportunity to attack the Iowa victors, but immediately acknowledged his own failings.

“They didn’t miss anything. It’s a long race. I took a hit in Iowa, and I’ll probably take a hit here. Traditionally, Bernie won by 20 points last time, and, uh, usually it’s the neighboring senators that do well,” the former vice president said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s this one or the next, I’ve always viewed the first four encounters — two primaries and two caucuses — as the starting point.”

Way to admit you’re weak in New Hampshire right out of the gate, Uncle Joe. That’s a really smart way to convince New Hampshire voters they should back your campaign.

For the record, Biden has never made it to the New Hampshire primary. He pulled out of the race in 2008 after coming in fifth in Iowa, taking less than 1 percent of the caucus that year.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.