Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden struggled to answer questions about his health during an interview on Friday, and resorted to suggesting that he was healthier than billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who officially entered the presidential race this week.
“I want to talk to you about staying in shape because there are some folks who have recently gotten in this race,” CNN’s Don Lemon said. “They don’t think you’re in shape, and they got in the race because they don’t think you’re in shape. One of them is Mayor Bloomberg.”
“He’s saying, someone in his campaign said, or someone says specifically, he has specific concerns about your ability to carry this through to the finish line,” Lemon continued. “What do you say about that?”
“Watch me. Watch me,” Biden responded. “The idea that I’m not in better shape than Mayor Bloomberg physically and otherwise, look, this – Trump is so bad as a president and so corrupt as a president that everybody in America who has ever been involved in politics, especially if they have a billion dollars, thinks they can beat Trump.”
“Well Deval Patrick is there, too,” Lemon responded. “He doesn’t have a billion dollars.”
“No, he doesn’t,” Biden responded. “But I noticed they showed me the other day, he went down to, he went, anyway, he went down to Morehouse and, and, and, [inaudible gibberish] had all of these hundreds of seats and no one showed up.”
HARD TO WATCH:
This interview is painful. Joe Biden’s wandering, bumbling, stumbling, meandering, drawing-blanks over softball CNN questions.
Half the time Biden just sits silently – otherwise he’s incomprehensible.
Why is he doing this to himself?
The senior moment candidate pic.twitter.com/GytuWe1Czl
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 24, 2019
“Look, I think it’s appropriate for people to look at all of us and decide are we in the physical shape, are we in the mental shape, are we based on your age,” Biden continued. “What a – it’s all appropriate. But all I can say is just watch me.”
“But, there – listen, people are concerned about whether you have lost a step, right, because you know what happened in Detroit,” Lemon responded. “I was one of the moderators in Detroit, and you stuttered onstage. There’s an Atlantic article about that, you overcoming that as a child. But have you overcome stuttering?”
“Yes, I’ve overcome it,” Biden responded.
“Is that part of – is that part of the issue?” Lemon pressed.
Lemon was referencing a piece in The Atlantic this week that sought to dispel questions about Biden’s health by suggesting that any apparent lack of mental sharpness on display was really a lingering problem with a stutter that Biden dealt with growing up.
“No, I don’t think so at all,” Biden responded. “One of the things that is part of the issue is when you get frontally attacked by people who have just got finished saying nice things about you earlier, and it’s a – you got to be careful. You got to be careful how you respond onstage. And they’re not debates, as you know. I mean this is a joke. They’re not debates. These are one-minute assertions.”
Biden suggested that the length of the debates was hard for him to deal with, adding, “And so, what I find myself doing – and I’m not doing it anymore – is sort of pulling back from countering attacks. And I just think that – I just think that it’s important that you get an opportunity eventually to narrow down this field.”