‘I give up’: Bette Midler and Roseanne Barr lead celebrity reactions to Biden-Trump debate

Celebrities are sharing their thoughts after former President Donald Trump took on President Joe Biden in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election.

During the 90-minute debate on Thursday night, former President Donald Trump continued to spout lies and falsehoods while President Joe Biden sputtered and stumbled over his words.

Actor and comedian Roseanne Barr tweeted: “As MAGA and pro America as I am…. I take no happiness in this debate. Biden is clearly not here. This is sad. Obama is sacrificing his friend to push his radical policies and I don't want any of us celebrating after this.

“Yes Trump is clearly the better choice… but let’s take this moment to pray for our country instead.”

“Fear and grievance, ad infinitum,” Bette Midler, a prominent Democratic supporter, said of Trump on social media.

“Every word out of his mouth is a lie. Every single word,” the Beaches actor said.

The first presidential debate of the 2024 election was widely derided on Twitter (Getty Images)
The first presidential debate of the 2024 election was widely derided on Twitter (Getty Images)

Biden, Midler said, “answered the questions, Trump never did. He feinted, he wove, he dodged, he lied.”

“Biden, his voice weakened by a cold, answered the questions, softly, but still. I leaned in and heard him fine,” she concluded.

Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams took aim at CNN’s broadcast, asking: “Why moderate if you’re not gonna moderate? Not a single lie checked.”

Conservative The View co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin wrote: “Tonight will be remembered in the history books in one of two ways: as the moment adults in the room stepped up & convinced Biden to step aside. Or it will be remembered as the night Trump solidified his path back to the White House.”

The West Wing actor Joshua Malina joked: “This reminds me of The West Wing, except for every episode.”

Horror franchise CEO Jason Blum wrote simply: “I give up.”

Reality star Caitlyn Jenner, a vocal Trump supporter, called Biden a “total and complete failure and clearly in major mental decline.”

“Vote accordingly!” she added.

Meanwhile, Jon Stewart shredded both candidates in a live election special of The Daily Show, which aired immediately after the debate ended.

“Let me just say after watching tonight’s debate, both of these men should be using performance-enhancing drugs,” Stewart joked.

“As much of it as they can get. If performance-enhancing drugs will improve their lucidity, their ability to solve problems, and in one of the candidates’ cases, improve their truthfulness, morality, and malignant narcissism, then suppository away. They should take whatever magical drugs can kick their brains into gear because this ain’t Olympic swimming,” he added.

Democrats appeared in “deep panic” from early on in the debate as Biden appeared frail and quiet. In post-debate analysis, CNN pundits even spoke of the possibility that he should step down as the party’s candidate.

Vice President Kamala Harris told the network: “It was a slow start, that’s obvious to everyone. I’m talking about the choice in November.”

She said the choice is between “the destruction of democracy” or to “continue on a course that’s about strengthening America’s economy.”

Occasionally, Biden was able to make a few hits on Trump as the twice-impeached former president repeatedly lied. At one point, Biden attacked Trump for reportedly calling veterans “losers” and “suckers.”

“My son was not a loser, was not a sucker,” he said in reference to his son Beau Biden, who served in the US military and who died of glioblastoma. “You’re the sucker, you’re the loser.”