Tag Archive for: george stephanopoulos

Joe Biden Repeatedly Denies Reality In Primetime ABC Interview

In an interview meant to dissuade Democratic panic, President Joe Biden appeared to be in complete denial that his campaign is in a tailspin.

Biden sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for a pre-recorded interview which aired Friday to reassure voters that he is mentally and physically capable of being president. While insisting that his debate performance was just a “bad night,” the president went on to deny that he is trailing in polls and that his approval rating is historically poor for an incumbent seeking reelection.

“Do you really believe that you’re not behind right now?” Stephanopoulos asked the president.

“All the pollsters I talk to tell me its a toss up, its a toss up. And when I’m behind, there’s only one poll that I’m really far behind, CBS poll and NBC – I mean, excuse me, and uh…” Biden started.

“New York Times and NBC have you about six points behind in the popular vote,” Stephanopoulos interjected.

“That’s exactly right. New York Times had me behind before anything having to do with this race and behind ten points. Ten points they had me behind. Nothing’s changed substantially since the debate and the New York Times poll,” Biden finished.

The highly-regarded New York Times/Siena College poll did not have Biden ten points behind his opponent, Donald Trump, before the debate — he was trailing by about six points among registered voters and three among likely voters. Both leads extended by three points after the debate, to nine and six points, respectively.

The president didn’t just reject polls showing him losing the election post debate — he also denied that his approval rating is continuing to tank.

“Mr. President, I’ve never seen a president of 36% approval get re-elected,” the ABC host told Biden.

“Well, I don’t believe that’s my approval rating – that’s not what our polls show,” the president quipped.

FiveThirtyEight showed the president at a 36.9% approval rating on Friday, the lowest average approval it has recorded Biden at throughout his administration. The poor approval rating is not new and has been incredibly consistent; the FiveThirtyEight average has had Biden below 41% for nearly a year.

Biden also said he didn’t “buy” polls that show him behind in the popular vote.

At one point during the interview, Stephanopoulos asked the president to address cries from allies that he is not fit to run for reelection. After brushing off reported efforts from Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark R. Warner to rally Democratic senators against him,  Stephanopoulos asked the president what he would do if Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and longtime former Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked him to step aside.

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

With outside Democrats clamoring for Biden to be replaced, reports from inside his closest circle are more mixed. A recent NYT article highlighted the frequency of the president’s lapses over the last several months based off of the accounts of former and current White House aides. The NYT also reported that Biden told a “close ally” he was considering whether to stay in the race. Other reports have indicated that his family is strongly urging him to stay in, particularly his son Hunter and wife Jill.

Biden denied any reports or evidence that he may have declined over the last few years.

“Do you dispute that there have been more lapses, especially in the last several months?” the ABC host asked.

“I’m still in good shape,” Biden said.

“Are you more frail?” Stephanopoulos followed up.

“No” Biden retorted.

And to calls for him to take a cognitive test, something former President Donald Trump and the GOP have spurred on, the president deflected.

“I take a cognitive test everyday,” Biden said.



White House correspondent. Follow Reagan on Twitter.


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