The interview was meant to put the purported Democratic 2020 front-runner back onto firm footing.
After a rough first debate — during which he was seen to have come off badly against attacks from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) over his record on civil rights — Biden’s team arranged a lengthy sitdown interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Unfortunately for Biden, the candidate fumbled his way through the 20+ minute exchange, repeatedly falling back on catchphrases while struggling to articulate clear ideas.
Biden’s remarks, for example, were peppered with constant interjections of “C’mon man!”
Speaking of Harris’s attacks on Biden versus how Trump might attack him, Biden said, “No, but everybody knows who this guy is. Come on, man. Come on. Come on, man. I mean, come on.”
On Trump managing to secure more funds for NATO from member states, Biden said: “Oh, come on, man ... We should have ... Look, people know who I am ...”
Biden also developed an add tic in which he kept instructing Cuomo to “look!”
“Look, I’m the guy at the time everybody talks about things they’re changing,” he said at one pointb before trailing off: “Look, this is not — but that — I think the American people want a president ...”
Biden also bizarrely suggested he would smack President Trump.
“You walk behind me in a debate, come here, man,” Biden told Cuomo. “Don’t you think — you know me too well. The idea that I’d be intimidated by Donald Trump? He’s the bully that I knew my whole life. He’s the bully that I’ve always stood up to. He’s the bully that used to make fun when I was a kid that I stutter, and I’d smack them in the mouth.”
But in the most strange moment of the interview, Biden insisted that Russian election interference would never happen on his watch — nor did it happen during the Obama Administration’s watch.
“Look at what’s happening with Putin,” Biden said. “While Putin is trying to undo our elections, he is undoing elections in Europe. Look at what’s happening in Hungary, look what’s happening in Poland, look what’s happening. You think that would happen on my watch or Barack’s watch? You can’t answer that, but I promise it wouldn’t have, and it didn’t.”
Biden was vice president of the United States when Russia engaged in its infamous “meddling” in the 2016 election.