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Biden debuts litany of denials in post-debate interview

President Joe Biden‘s first post-debate interview was laden with a series of denials at odds with a candidate who is trying to convince his party that he is taking its concerns about his age and mental acuity seriously. From his poll numbers to whether Democrats are calling on him to step down as their 2024 nominee […]

President Joe Biden‘s first post-debate interview was laden with a series of denials at odds with a candidate who is trying to convince his party that he is taking its concerns about his age and mental acuity seriously.

From his poll numbers to whether Democrats are calling on him to step down as their 2024 nominee after his debate, here are the Biden denials from his 22-minute sit down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

On his debate performance

Biden conceded he had a “bad night” during his debate against former President Donald Trump last week but described it as a “bad episode” not symptomatic of a more “serious condition.” While the president did not apportion blame to his aides, he did contend Trump bore some responsibility.

“Well, it came to me I was having a bad night when I realized that even when I was answering a question, even though they turned his mic off, he was still shouting,” he said. “I let it distract me. I — I’m not blaming it on that, but I realized that I just wasn’t in control.”

On whether being president has taken a toll and if he needs a cognitive test

President Joe Biden arrives at Delaware Air National Guard Base in New Castle, Delaware, Friday, July 5, 2024, from a campaign rally in Madison, Wisconsin. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Biden sidestepped Stephanopoulos when asked whether he was the same man as he was at the start of his administration and if he could continue in the role for another four years.

“In terms of successes, yes,” Biden said. “I also was the guy who put together a peace plan for the Middle East that may be coming to fruition. I was also the guy that expanded NATO. I was also the guy that grew the economy. All the individual things that were done were ideas I had or I fulfilled. I moved on.”

“Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I’m still in good shape,” he added before denying that he was more frail. “Watch me between — there’s a lot of time left in this campaign. There’s over 125 days.”

When Stephanopoulos followed up, Biden repeated that he was “the guy that put NATO together.”

“No one thought I could expand it. I’m the guy that shut Putin down,” Biden said of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Biden’s watch.

Of the potential of him taking an independent medical evaluation, which included neurological and cognitive tests, Biden argued that he undertakes similar tests “every day.”

“I have a cognitive test every single day,” he said. “Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world. Sounds like hyperbole, but we are the essential nation of the world.”

On his polls and his standing in the Democratic Party

Biden reiterated that he was not behind Trump in the polls despite the former president having advantages in national and battleground state polling.

“All the pollsters I talk to tell me it’s a toss-up,” he said.

Biden cited his crowd sizes when asked what his campaign’s strategy is to improve his prospects, with Stephanopoulos telling Biden no president has been reelected with his approval ratings.

“If you can be convinced that you cannot defeat Donald Trump, will you stand down?” Stephanopolous asked.

“If the Lord Almighty came down and said, ‘Joe, get out of the race,’ I’d get out of the race,” he responded. “The Lord Almighty’s not coming down.”

“I agree that the Lord Almighty’s not going to come down, but if — if — if you are told reliably from your allies, from your friends and supporters in the Democratic Party in the House and the Senate that they’re concerned you’re going to lose the House and the Senate if you stay in, what will you do?” Stephanopoulos added.

“I’m not going to answer that question,” he replied. “It’s not going to happen.”

On what happens next

Regardless of Biden’s denials, the president’s interview with Stephanopolous was preceded by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Mike Quigley (D-IL), in addition to Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), encouraging him to step aside.

Although interviews have aided presidential candidates in the past, “his situation is markedly different from what other candidates have faced,” according to Rutgers University history, media studies, and journalism professor David Greenberg.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Bill and Hillary Clinton did an effective 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft that helped him during the 1992 campaign after the Gennifer Flowers scandal,” Greenberg told the Washington Examiner of the CBS program. “But Biden has to do much more than damage control. He has to convey a fundamentally different demeanor than he did in the debate, to the point where people really become convinced that Debate Biden was a wild aberration, a mega-outlier.”

“I’m convinced he’s sound enough to govern — and I think he’s governed well,” he said. “But it actually takes more energy and quickness to campaign than to govern, especially since he’ll have to surge ahead of Trump in the polls, mobilize turnout, and forcefully make the case both for Trump’s dangerousness and for his own vision.”

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