NYT columnist pans Biden's campaign appearances: 'Like watching an actor who can't quite remember his lines'

New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg panned Joe Biden Tuesday after attending three of his campaign stops over the weekend, calling the former vice president's performances "unnerving."

"Seeing Biden on the stump often feels like watching an actor who can't quite remember his lines. Even if you don't support him, it's hard not to feel anxious on his behalf," she wrote, pointing out a particularly muddled answer from Biden to a question about him changing his position on the Hyde Amendment.

"Anyone convinced that Biden is the safe choice should go see him for themselves."

— Michelle Goldberg

Overall, she called Biden's appearances at the three South Carolina campaign stops "shaky," questioning whether he can defeat President Trump in 2020.

"I don't want Biden to be the nominee for ideological reasons, but polls show him far ahead, and if he's going to be the Democratic Party's standard-bearer against Donald Trump, I want him to be a strong one. He didn't seem strong in South Carolina," she wrote.

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Goldberg said Trump also "speaks in gibberish," but he does so with "confidence," while Biden appears "shaky" as he tries to come up with a fact or figure to answer a question.

"And while there's great affection for him on the ground, there's little excitement. You can see why his campaign has been limiting his public events and why he's been avoiding the press," Goldberg wrote, crediting Biden for his ability to connect with voters one-on-one and staying until almost midnight at one event to greet attendees.

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At another event, she noted that supporters of Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke seemed far more enthusiastic than the group supporting Biden.

"An ability to draw crowds isn't everything -- a tepid vote counts the same as a passionate one. Biden's supporters are older than those of other Democrats, which gives his campaign less visible energy but a more reliable voting base. Still, as recent elections have shown, enthusiasm matters. Anyone convinced that Biden is the safe choice should go see him for themselves," she concluded.