Joe Biden, dismissing concerns, says only ‘Lord Almighty’ could drive him from race

Nicholas Nehamas and Rebecca Davis O’Brien
The New York Times
President Joe Biden being interviewed on US television by George Stephanopoulos.
President Joe Biden being interviewed on US television by George Stephanopoulos. Credit: ABC

In a defiant interview that aired Friday night (US time), President Joe Biden dismissed concerns about his health and doubts about his reelection bid, saying only “the Lord Almighty” could convince him he should step aside.

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News repeatedly pressed Biden about his health and, more subtly, whether he is in denial about his ability to win the election. Biden — smiling, but clearly defensive — answered by reciting the record of his first term.

The interview came days after a dismal debate performance last week plunged his reelection bid into uncertainty. Biden attributed his performance to exhaustion. “I was sick; I was feeling terrible.”

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Just before the program aired, Stephanopoulos told the camera that it was an unedited interview. “There are no cuts, no edits. We have not touched it.”

Biden said his debate performance was “nobody’s fault but mine,” but suggested that former President Donald Trump’s aggressive falsehoods threw him off balance. “I just had a bad night,” he said.

The ABC interview followed Biden’s animated, though brief, speech at a campaign event in Wisconsin earlier Friday.

“I’m staying in this race,” Biden told the crowd, to cheers. “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out 3 1/2 years of work.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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