Biden fights back: Defends mental fitness and electability in crucial interview

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Biden fights back: Defends mental fitness and electability in crucial interview

President Joe Biden tackled questions regarding his mental fitness and electability in a pivotal TV interview.

This was following a troubled debate performance that ignited calls for him to exit his re-election bid.

With tension mounting among anxious Democratic voters, lawmakers, and donors, Biden’s interview with ABC was hyped as a defining moment in his long political career.

However, the 22-minute conversation offered little solace.

Biden attributed his poor debate showing to illness and dismissed concerns about his party’s internal worries and unfavourable polling.

Biden claimed he was sick

“I was sick, I was feeling terrible… I just had a bad cold,” the 81-year-old president explained,

Marking his first significant unscripted remarks since the contentious debate with Republican rival Donald Trump.

Intended to stabilize his campaign, the interview instead drew criticism from Democrats who found his hoarse voice and rambling responses to be “out of touch.”

When asked if his continued candidacy might risk Democrats losing the White House, Biden responded, “I don’t think anybody’s more qualified to be president or win this race than me.”

Biden also deflected calls for an official assessment of his mental acuity, claiming, “I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test, everything I do.”

Biden Vs Trump

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign seized the moment to mock Biden.

Posting on social media that “Biden sounds great” and concluding that the president “is in denial and decline.”

The interview followed Biden’s hesitant and often incoherent performance during the Atlanta debate against Trump.

This further led to panic within his party and calls for him to step aside.

President Joe Biden poses for a photo during a meeting with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients to discuss the American Dream and Promise Act on Friday, May 14, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Adam Schultz)

Despite the backlash, Biden’s campaign has pushed back hard against any suggestion of withdrawal.

Releasing an aggressive campaign schedule for July just hours before the ABC interview.

Appearing at a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, Biden delivered a spirited speech, firmly declaring, “I’m staying in the race. I’ll beat Donald Trump.”

Despite his confident stance, post-debate polls have shown Trump gaining a lead, with at least four Congressional Democrats.

Major newspapers, donors, and Democratic commentators urged Biden to reconsider his candidacy.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries reportedly plan to hold crisis talks with lawmakers soon.

President Joe Biden defends himself

During the interview, the host repeatedly referenced the growing calls within the Democratic Party for a new candidate.

Asking Biden if he would step down if convinced he couldn’t beat Trump. Biden replied, “Well, it depends. If the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that.”

Biden also mentioned he had not watched the debate afterwards, saying, “I don’t think I did, no,” and downplayed concerns about his health.

“It was a bad episode, no indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing and — and I had a bad night,” he said.

David Axelrod, a former top aide in Barack Obama’s White House, criticized the interview, suggesting Biden appeared “dangerously out of touch” with concerns about his fitness for office.

“Four years ago at this time, he was 10 points ahead of Trump (in polls). Today, he is six points behind,” Axelrod posted on social media.

Looking ahead, the White House announced that Biden will visit Pennsylvania and hold a press conference during the NATO summit in Washington.

Aiming to regain his footing and reassure his party of his leadership.

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