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Biden Dismisses Concerns About Mental Fitness in Exclusive Interview

President Joe Biden sits with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos during a televised interview, where Biden addresses his mental and physical fitness to serve another term in office, discusses his debate performance, and responds to concerns about his age and cognitive abilities.

President Joe Biden, in his first televised interview since the June 27 debate, vigorously defended his mental and physical fitness to serve another term in office. With ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, Biden addressed the recent scrutiny following his debated performance and the increasing calls for him to step down from the 2024 presidential race.

During the 22-minute interview, Biden acknowledged that the debate against former President Donald Trump was a “bad episode” but pushed back against broader concerns about his age and mental acuity. Stephanopoulos pressed Biden on reports of more frequent lapses over the past few months, to which Biden responded confidently.

“Are you the same man today that you were when you took office three-and-a-half years ago?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“In terms of successes, yes,” Biden replied. He cited his efforts in the Middle East, NATO expansion, and economic growth as proof of his effectiveness. “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 who expanded NATO. I was also the guy that grew the economy.”

When asked about the perception of increased lapses, Biden quipped, “Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I’m still in good shape.” He firmly denied being more frail, stating, “No.”

Biden’s sit-down with ABC News is part of a broader strategy by the White House and his campaign to address the fallout from his debate performance and reassure the public and his party about his capability to endure the rigours of a re-election campaign and a potential second term. If re-elected, Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term.

Stephanopoulos questioned Biden on his ability to serve effectively for another four years, to which Biden responded, “I believe so. I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think I did. I’m running again because I think I understand best what must be done to take this nation to a new level. We’re on our way.”

The president also emphasised the importance of the president’s character in ensuring the Constitution is upheld correctly, particularly in light of recent Supreme Court decisions.

When pressed about whether he would be willing to undergo an independent cognitive test, Biden declined, reinforcing his belief in his current capabilities. He also dismissed recent poll numbers showing him trailing Trump and concerns from some Democrats about his viability as a candidate.

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

“It depends on if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me I might do that,” Biden said.

The interview underscores the ongoing debate about Biden’s fitness for office as he seeks re-election amidst a challenging political landscape and heightened scrutiny from opponents and supporters.

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