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Biden Insists Beyond All Reason That He's the Most Qualified Person to be President

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President Biden stares into camera during first presidential debate 2024 | John Wong/Newscom; Lex Villena

President Joe Biden defiantly insisted in an interview tonight with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos that he was the best and most-qualified qualified to run the country and beat Donald Trump.

“I just had a bad night,” Biden repeatedly insisted as Stephanopoulos pressed him on voters’ concerns about his mental and physical state following his disastrous debate performance against his Republican rival, former president Donald Trump.

Biden also refused to give a straight answer when Stephanopoulos asked him if he’d commit to taking an independent medical evaluation and releasing the results to the public.

“Look, I have a cognitive test every single day,” Biden responded. “Everything I do. Not only am I campaigning but I’m running the world.”

The interview was the Biden reelection campaign’s attempt to blunt the damage from the debate debacle, which has led to rising panic inside the Democratic Party about Biden’s viability as a candidate. The New York Times reported this evening, shortly before the interview, that Sen. Mark Warner (D–Va.) is meeting with other Senate Democrats next week to discuss concerns about Biden.

In the immediate aftermath of the debate, Biden’s team offered a litany of excuses for his performance: jet lag, a packed schedule, a cold. Biden, too, cited his travel schedule and a nasty cold.

“[The doctor] just looked at me and said, ‘You’re exhausted,’” Biden told Stephanopoulos.

But Biden’s debate performance was so bad that it shook even the president’s staunchest defenders in the media, who had thus far dutifully ignored Biden’s advancing age. And it pierced “operation bubblewrap,” the name White House insiders reportedly gave to their efforts to carefully manage Biden’s public appearances to avoid senior moments.

Biden offered himself to voters in 2020 as a “transition candidate” and “a bridge” for younger Democratic leaders, but when it came time to gracefully bow out, he instead insisted on remaining in power, much like the rest of the entrenched gerontocracy in both major parties.

However, if Biden’s interview with Stephanopoulos was supposed to calm voters and show them the feisty Scranton Joe of yore, the problem was it was asking viewers to believe something their own eyes and a bare amount of reason would reveal as false: that 81-year-old Joe Biden is really the most-qualified person in the country right now to be president.

“Do you dispute that there have been more lapses, especially in the last several months?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I’m still in good shape,” Biden said.

“Are you more frail?” Stephanopoulos followed up.

“No,” Biden said.

As Reason‘s Matt Welch wrote this March, before Biden’s debate flop, “For many of us who have watched old-age decline up close, the White House and media insistence that there’s nothing to see here amounts to brazen gaslighting, deepening a distrust for all things establishment.”

But by all indications, the gaslighting will continue. When Biden was asked what it would take to convince him that he couldn’t beat Trump, he said that it would take no less than a personal message from God, the alpha and the omega, the prime mover of the universe.

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

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