This was President Biden’s first in-person interview following his horrible performance in the debate last week.


He was speaking on Friday with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, discussing his “bad episode,” when it dawned on him that he was not doing well in the debate and that he was being repeatedly asked to take a neurological test.


After growing calls within the Democratic Party for Biden to withdraw from the campaign due to worries about his age and mental capacity, the whole interview with Biden was shown for the first time on Friday night. Despite calls from media sources and longtime supporters for him to hand up the political mantle to a younger Democratic opponent, Biden has vowed to stay in the race.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I appreciate you doing this, Mr. President.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT: I appreciate being here.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s start the discussion. You and your group reported having a difficult evening.


STEPHANOPOULOS: But the question that, in my opinion, millions of Americans are considering was actually put out by your friend Nancy Pelosi. Was this a one-time occurrence or an indication of something more serious?


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: The episode wasn’t very good. Nothing to suggest a major illness. I was worn out. I disregarded my instincts when it came to getting ready and having a rough night.


STEPHANOPOULOS: You mention that you were worn out. And even though I am aware that you have mentioned it previously, you came and it was a difficult month for you. However, you returned from Europe eleven or twelve days before the debate, having visited Camp David for six days. Why wasn’t that sufficient time for relaxation and recuperation?


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN Owing to my illness. I felt really bad. In fact, I inquired about a COVID test in the documents I had with me since they were attempting to determine the origin of the issue. They performed a test to determine whether or not I had a viral infection. I didn’t. I recently suffered a terrible cold.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you ever watch the argument that followed, too?


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: No, I don’t believe I did.


STEPHANOPOULOS, George: This is my attempt, but I want to know what you were thinking and feeling during the argument. Were you aware of the dire circumstances?


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Well, you know, whatever I did to get ready was entirely my own fault. It’s my fault and no one else’s. I guess I got ready for my customary sitting routine as soon as I returned with the National Security Council or foreign dignitaries for specific details. And halfway through it, I realized, you know, everything The New York Times cited me as saying that I was down 10 points before the debate, 9 points now, or whatever the heck it is. In actuality, what I found out is that he lied 28 times as well. I was unable to… It’s not my fault, no one else’s fault, or anyone else’s fault, really, the way the argument went.


STEPHANOPOULOS: However, it appeared that you were experiencing difficulties even before he said a word.


PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I just had a rough evening. You’ve occasionally had awful interviews. Though I’m sure you did, I can’t recall any.