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Biden campaign fed questions to hosts for interviews with president

As President Joe Biden attempts to prove his mental fitness to voters, two radio hosts say the Biden campaign provided them questions for interviews with the presumed Democratic nominee.  On Saturday, CNN’s Victor Blackwell interviewed two radio hosts who interviewed Biden this week — Andrea Lawful-Sanders and Earl Ingram. During their conversation, Blackwell noted that […]

As President Joe Biden attempts to prove his mental fitness to voters, two radio hosts say the Biden campaign provided them questions for interviews with the presumed Democratic nominee. 

On Saturday, CNN’s Victor Blackwell interviewed two radio hosts who interviewed Biden this week — Andrea Lawful-Sanders and Earl Ingram. During their conversation, Blackwell noted that both hosts asked the president nearly identical sets of questions and asked if the Biden campaign had given them questions for the interviews.

Lawful-Sanders, the host of The Source on WURD in Philadelphia, answered in the affirmative. Ingram, who invited Biden on The Earl Ingram Show on WMCS in Milwaukee, did not dispute her answer. 


“The questions were sent to me for approval; I approved of them,” Lawful-Sanders told Victor Blackwell, CNN’s host of First of All on Saturday. 

“I got several questions — eight of them,” the radio host said, referring to the questions she would ask Biden during a radio interview on Wednesday. “And the four that were chosen were the ones that I approved.”

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally at Sherman Middle School in Madison, Wisconsin, Friday, July 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Lawful-Sanders defended using the questions provided to her, telling the Washington Post, “When I was asked to do this interview it was most important to me to have the voices of the Black people heard. I never once felt pressured to ask certain questions. I chose questions that were most important to the black and brown communities we serve in … Philadelphia. Those questions proved to be exactly what black and brown communities desired.”

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On Wednesday, Biden made appearances on both Lawful-Sanders’s and Ingram’s shows. His media rounds came after the president attempted to prove he was mentally fit after his incoherent debate performance last week. Biden mumbled and froze his way through the June 27 debate, repeatedly losing his train of thought and alarming Democrats with incoherent answers. 

Biden appeared on the two radio shows in an attempt to stave off surging concerns that he cannot win reelection and calls from his own party to drop out. The hosts’ admission that questions were scripted has sparked backlash from critics who say the campaign’s actions bely an honest attempt to prove the president’s mental acuity. 

Despite the scripted questions, Biden fumbled during both interviews.

Biden told Lawful-Sanders he was proud to be “the first Black woman to serve with a Black president.”

During his conversation with Ingram, Biden waded through another confusing reply after he was asked why voting matters. 

“That’s where we always — we gave Donald Trump executive — a power to to use a system — and it’s just never contemplated by our founders because of the people he appointed to the court,” he told Ingram. “It’s just presidential immunity. He can say that I did this in my capacity as an executive, it may have been wrong, but I did it. But that’s going to hold — because I — and this is the same guy who says that he wants to enact revenge.”

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The Biden campaign has pushed back on criticism that the president can’t handle unscripted questions.

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Biden campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt defended the campaign aides providing questions, telling the Washington Examiner in a statement that “it’s not at all an uncommon practice,” when pressed about sending the questions to the hosts.

“These questions were relevant to the news of the day — the president was asked about this debate performance as well as what he’d delivered for black Americans,” she added. “We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners.”

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