Joe Biden bargains with America, insists he’s in good shape. That might not be enough.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden bargains with America, insists he’s in good shape. That might not be enough:

For 22 minutes, a slightly hoarse Biden parried questions from George Stephanopoulos of ABC News about his fitness for office, the recent debate debacle and demands that he withdraw from the race so Democrats can nominate someone else with a better chance of beating Trump.

Biden pushed back on polls that show him losing to Trump in November. “I remember them telling me the same thing in 2020 … the polls show I can’t win,” he said.

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He deflected questions about reports suggesting his mental lapses are happening more frequently. “Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No,” he said. “But I’m still in good shape.”

He refused to commit to undergoing an independent cognitive and neurological exam and releasing the results to the public. Being president and running for re-election are their own cognitive test, he said.

“I have a cognitive test every day,” he insisted.

And he refused to even entertain the notion that top Democratic leaders might ask him to bow out of the race. “They’re not going to do that,” he said.

Six takeaways from ABC interview:Despite lapses, detractors and polling, Biden digs in

President Joe Biden responds to a question from George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in an interview amid calls for him to drop out of the presidential race.

Biden’s interview, recorded Friday after a campaign appearance in Madison, Wisconsin, capped a week of damage-control efforts by the White House and his campaign team following his debate fiasco with Trump on June 27. During that televised faceoff, Biden spoke in a raspy voice and at times was unable to complete his thoughts, finish sentences or push back effectively against Trump’s firehose of falsehoods.

Biden’s poor performance fueled concerns that he doesn’t have the mental acuity to serve another four years in office and ignited a surge of panic among some Democrats, who are set to formally anoint him as their party’s nominee next month in Chicago.

Just before the interview aired, a fourth Democratic House member – Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois – called on him to leave the race to give the party time to nominate someone else. In the Senate, John Warner of Virginia is reportedly trying to assemble a group of Democratic senators to ask Biden to drop out, according to The Washington Post.

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In his interview, Biden again blamed his disjointed debate performance on “a really bad cold” and exhaustion. “I was sick,” he said. “I was feeling terrible.”

He remained adamant that he could beat Trump in November, even though some pre-debate polls showed him losing in a squeaker of a race. Post-debate polls showed him falling even farther behind.

Biden used the interview to remind Americans of his record in office, pointing to the expansion of NATO, his taking on of Big Pharma over exorbitant drug prices, and Friday’s report that the economy added more than 200,000 jobs in June.

“I’m running again because I think I understand best what has to be done to take this nation to a completely new level,” he said. “We’re on our way.”

Democrats don’t question his record, though. They do question whether he can beat Trump.

“The president is rightfully proud of his record,” political strategist David Axelrod, who twice helped Barack Obama win the presidency, wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “But he is dangerously out-of-touch with the concerns people have about his capacities moving forward and his standing in this race. Four years ago at this time, he was 10 points ahead of Trump. Today, he is six points behind.”

Near the end of the interview, Stephanopoulos asked Biden how he’ll feel in January if Trump wins a second term. His response is unlikely to quiet the critics who want him to quit.

“I will feel, as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do,” he said, “that’s what this is about.”

Democratic governors to Biden:‘Path to victory is the No. 1 priority’

Biden did suggest one scenario in which he might change his mind.

He might be persuaded to drop out, he said, “if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that.”

Barring divine intervention, he insisted he’s staying in the race.

Author: naruv

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