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Some imagine a ‘President Josh Shapiro.’ Here’s what he said about Biden after the debate.

“I acknowledge, he had a bad night,” Shapiro said of President Joe Biden’s debate performance.

The morning after a debate that even many Democrats called disastrous for Joe Biden, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro went on a speaking tour to forcefully defend the president.

Shapiro, who enjoys relatively high approval ratings in his swing state, and has made many Jews proud by publicly embracing his Judaism, sits on many Democrats’ shortlists for future presidents. The political chatter since the Thursday night has focused on replacements for Biden were he to resign from the race.

But Shapiro, who would be the nation’s first Jewish president, delivered as full-throated an endorsement of Biden Friday as could be heard in the wake of the debate.

“He is our nominee,” he said on CNN, and then pivoted to lambaste former president Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, as “dangerous” and a “bully.”

CNN anchor John Berman steered Shapiro back to Biden’s widely panned performance, which seemed to add credence to detractors’ claims that the president is too old to serve a second term. Berman asked Shapiro whether he is more or less fearful for Biden’s reelection than he was before the debate.

“I acknowledge, he had a bad night,” Shapiro responded. But that “doesn’t change the fact that Donald Trump was a bad president. And certainly, we need to be crisper in delivering that message.”

Shapiro, a member of the Biden-Harris campaign’s national advisory board, said that Biden’s supporters also need to work harder at that.

“Start working and stop worrying,” he advised.

Morning Joe

Shapiro delivered a similar message on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where he was pressed hard by anchor Mika Brzezinski on whether Democrats were wise to continue to rally around Biden, who would be 82 at a second inauguration.

“Forgive me, but sitting here and hand wringing, sitting here and fretting, is not the answer,” Shapiro said, before he returned to denouncing Trump and touting Biden’s record.

Neither Berman or Brzesinski asked Shapiro about his own political aspirations. But the governor has not discouraged talk of a 2028 run.

Favoring Shapiro: His moderate tone, stable family life and win over Trump-endorsed Doug Mastriano in the 2022 governor’s race, a contest many thought would be much closer.

And Pennsylvania, where Shapiro also served as attorney general, is a swing state, one that could play an outsized role in a presidential election. Shapiro enjoys a higher approval rating than his four most recent predecessors, according to a February poll.

But if he does run in 2028, when there will be no incumbent president, Shapiro will be one of many to seek the Democratic nomination. Among others expected to explore a presidential run: Vice President Kamala Harris, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who, like Shapiro, is the third Jewish governor of his state.

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