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‘I’m Still in Good Shape’: Biden Addresses Age Concerns and Debate Performance in ABC News Interview

By Jake Beardslee · July 6, 2024

In a recent exclusive interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, President Joe Biden confronted questions about his age, mental acuity, and recent debate performance against Donald Trump.

The 22-minute interview, conducted on July 5, saw Biden defending his capabilities while acknowledging some challenges. When asked about his debate performance, Biden conceded it was a "bad episode" but pushed back against broader concerns about his fitness for office.   Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Responding to inquiries about potential lapses in recent months, Biden stated, "Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I'm still in good shape." He firmly denied being more frail than when he took office three and a half years ago.  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The President highlighted his accomplishments, including economic growth, NATO expansion, and progress on a Middle East peace plan. "I was also the guy that grew the economy. All the individual things that were done were ideas I had or I fulfilled," Biden asserted.  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Addressing concerns about his ability to serve effectively in a potential second term, which would end when he's 86, Biden expressed confidence: "I believe so. I wouldn't be runnin' if I didn't think I did."  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

He emphasized the importance of presidential character, especially in light of recent Supreme Court decisions: "It's about the character of the president. The character of the president's gonna determine whether or not this Constitution is employed the right way."  Mathieu Landretti / Wikimedia

When pressed about his honesty regarding his mental and physical capabilities, Biden stood firm: "Yes, I am, because, George, the last thing I want to do is not be able to meet that."  Max Correa / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The interview also touched on recent poll numbers showing Biden trailing Trump. When asked if he would step down if convinced he couldn't defeat Trump, Biden quipped, "It depends on -- on if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that."  Jack Gruber/USA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK

This interview is part of a broader effort by the White House and Biden's campaign to address concerns following his debate performance, which left some Democrats worried about his ability to handle a grueling reelection campaign and a second term.  Jack Gruber, Jack Gruber / USA TODAY NETWORK

The ABC News team noted that they had reached out to Trump's team to offer an equivalent interview opportunity, which was declined.  Jack Gruber-USA TODAY