Pod Save America hosts Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor have just released their first book, “Democracy or Else: How to Save America in 10 Easy Steps.” They’re in Boston for a show Friday at The Wilbur, featuring special guest host Mehdi Hasan and special guest Gov. Maura Healey as part of their “Pod Save America: The Democracy or Else Tour.”

Amidst their tour, the trio weighed in on the first presidential debate of the 2024 elections on Boston Public Radio.

Vietor expressed his concerns, stating, “I thought it was a very bad night for the people who want democracy in this country.” He criticized Biden for not effectively dispelling concerns about his age and ability to lead, noting that Biden struggled with some of his answers and failed to advance his core message.

Favreau was even more blunt in his assessment, calling the debate “a disaster.” He praised Biden as an excellent president but felt he needed to do more.

“Part of the job of being president is to make the case for yourself, for the country, for the value of democracy, and to make the case why Donald Trump shouldn’t get four more years … and he did not make that case,” Favreau said.

Lovett shared the sentiment: “It was a tough watch. People are nervous because they love this country and they want what’s best for it.”

The discussion about the debate will continue tonight at The Wilbur, where they will delve deeper into their new book. Lovett highlighted the book’s purpose, stating, “We wrote it for a moment when people feel pretty skeptical and frustrated and dispirited by politics.” He emphasized the importance of encouraging participation and finding effective ways to engage, even amidst widespread cynicism.

Their advice to readers and listeners is to stay informed and recognize their power, whether at the local, state, or national level. Lovett added, “We tried to make it as funny and entertaining as possible. Because if politics feels like a slog, you’re not going to stick to it. There has to be joy in the fight.”