BREAKING: Biden rejects calls for independent medical evaluation, claims he ‘shut Putin down’ during confused ABC prime time interview

"We took on all the things we said we got done, were told we couldn't get done," he said.

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY

In a desperate effort to correct or perhaps erase his miserable debate performance against President Donald Trump last week, President Joe Biden moved up a planned interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. The interview, which was shot on Friday afternoon in Wisconsin and aired in the prime time hour of Friday night, likely did little to reverse voters' perceptions of his lack of mental fitness to hold office for another four years.

Biden attempted to deflect, saying he was working with Israel and had "shut Putin down." The US is still funding Ukraine's war against their neighboring aggressor, and there is no end in sight.

"George," he said in response to questions as to whether he could serve effectively for the next four years, "I'm the guy that put NATO together, the future, no one thought I could expand it. I'm the guy that shot Putin down, no one thought it could happen." He spoke about gathering more support for Ukraine, as well.

Stephanapoulos did not waste time with questions about policy or differences between his political opponent and himself, instead addressing the elephant in the room: Biden's ability to string a thought together without losing the train altogether. "Was this a bad episode or a sign of a more serious condition?" Stephanopoulos asked. But he also dug into the fallout of the poor debate and the political ramifications rather than get too personal with Biden and his condition.

"It was a bad episode," Biden said before going into commentary on his exhaustion level, claiming that he'd been ill and "feeling terrible" going into the Thursday night event. "I didn't listen to my instincts in terms of preparing," he said. "I had a bad night." Stephanopoulos inquired if he'd watched the debate afterwards, to which Biden replied "I don't think I did, no." He blamed his lack of preparation for failing to deliver for his party or his campaign.

Biden leaned into claims that Trump had lied on the debate stage, but Stephanopoulos replied that it seemed like Biden was "having trouble from the first moments in before he spoke." Biden played it off as a "bad night." But Stephanoloulos said that the debate performance relit fears that voters had that he is in decline. Biden complained that he was "distracted" by Trump's speaking when his mic was off and that he "just realized" that he "wasn't in control."

But Stephanopolous offered concern that this was part of a "pattern of decline," quoting The New York Times and referencing the Wall Street Journal as well as the Washington Post. In response, Biden claimed he'd put together a deal for peace in the Middle East. In October, Palestinian terror group Hamas attacked US ally Israel, massacring 1,200 people, including many young people attending a music festival. He also leaned into the expansion of NATO and domestic policy initiatives.

"We took on all the things we said we got done, were told we couldn't get done," he said. 

Stephanopoulos brought it back to Biden's aging and decline, which Biden deflected, saying he was "optimistic about this country."

Biden told Stephanopoulos he would not relent to calls for an independent medical exam. This despite calls from inside his own party to step out of the race due to his miserable debate performance which is widely seen as an indicator that Biden's age has finally caught up with him and he's in an irreversible decline. He outright refused to take a neurological test and instead told voters to watch him. That is, of course, what people have been doing.

Biden said he wouldn't be running if he didn't think he could handle it and claimed he wanted to take the nation "to a new level." Stephanopolous suggested that Biden has not been honest with himself about his capacity or his ability to beat Trump as he falls further and further behind in polling. Biden argued with Stephanopoulos about where polling is. 

Biden complained that Trump wants to "undo every single thing I've done." Biden reversed dozens of Trump's executive orders on day 1. Stephanopoulos said that Biden' supporters appreciate him but are hoping he step aside. Biden dismissed these reports. 

"I've never seen a president with 36% approval get re-elected," Stephanopoulos said.

"I don't believe that's my approval, that's not what our polls show," Biden said. Stephanopolous asked what Biden would do if come January, he had lost to Trump. Biden said "I'll feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job I know I can do, that's what this is about. Look George, think of it this way. You've heard me say this before, I think the United States and the world is at an inflection point." He said he's the only one who can hold NATO together and keep China in check.

"Come listen, see what they say," Biden said. The interview was barely 25 minutes long.

Biden was on the campaign trail in Wisconsin on Friday and said "I'm staying in the race. I'll beat Donald Trump and I'll beat him again in 2020.

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An old, demented man playing the music in his head.

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