ABC's Transcript of the Biden Interview is Revealing

It’s always a pleasant surprise when the legacy media outperforms our expectations and that’s happened a couple of times recently. Going into last week’s presidential debate, I was almost positive that CNN’s moderators would keep their thumbs firmly on the scale in Biden’s favor and do everything in their power to undermine Trump. For the most part, they appeared to remain neutral and asked fair questions, giving both candidates an equal opportunity to answer without editorializing. I was similarly pessimistic about Biden’s interview on ABC News yesterday, particularly since he was talking to George Stephanopoulos, a well-known Clinton apparatchik. But the interview didn’t turn out to be nearly as much of a love festival as I expected and ABC made good on their pledge to publish a full transcript of the event. And that transcript reveals that Joe Biden was not nearly as “with it” as his supporters have been trying to claim. As you’ll see in the excerpt below, things started off well enough, but they began to go downhill quickly after that.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, thank you for doing this.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Thank you for having me.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s start with the debate. eh, You and your team said, have said you had a bad night. But your–

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Sure did.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But your friend Nancy Pelosi actually framed the question that I think is on the minds of millions of Americans. Was this a bad episode or the sign of a more serious condition?

If you read through the full transcript, you will see that ABC included the instances where there were pauses and repeated words, by both Biden and Stephanopoulos. I didn’t take the time to walk through it line by line while listening to the full interview (which you can watch here if you missed it) but if there was any “cleanup” work done on the transcript it wasn’t much. Also, to his credit, Stephanopoulos came straight out of the gate with a question about the debate and even invoked the phrase “a more serious condition.” As you would expect, Biden attempted to portray it otherwise, but his performance as the interview went on wasn’t all that much better than the debate, even though it was taking place much earlier in the day.

Shortly after that exchange, George asks the President if he went back and watched the debate afterward. There was a pause and then Biden said, “I don’t think I did, no.” Excuse me, but you don’t think you watched it? If you did, it would have been just in the past week and it’s one of the most hotly discussed topics in the nation at the moment. You don’t remember whether or not you saw it?

When Stephanopoulos asks if Biden was aware how poorly it was going in the moment, Joe’s answer rapidly falls apart. He said, “I realized–bout partway through that, you know, all– I get quoted the New York Times had me down, at ten points before the debate, nine now, or whatever the hell it is.” The answer goes on for a few more less intelligible sentences before he trails off.

Later, Biden accused Trump of “shouting” after they turned his mic off. (That didn’t happen.) That supposedly “distracted” him and he realized he wasn’t “in control.” When he was later asked about whether or not he’s been receiving medical tests, Biden appears to completely lose it. “I’ve had– I get a full neurological test every day with me. And I’ve had a full physical. I had, you know, I mean, I– I’ve been at Walter Reed for my physicals. I mean–uhm yes, the answer.”

There’s more of the same throughout the rest of the transcript. Read it for yourself and see what you think. But if his team staged this interview to give Biden a maximum advantage and portray him in the best light possible, he fell very short of clearing that low bar. But I’m fairly sure we all knew that already. And yet… he persists in staying in the race. (At least for now.)

Here’s the full interview from ABC’s YouTube channel.

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