Biden’s Super Bowl Interview Snub Is a Sign of Low Confidence, Political Strategist Says

It is the second year in a row that President Joe Biden has turned down a Super Bowl interview.
Biden’s Super Bowl Interview Snub Is a Sign of Low Confidence, Political Strategist Says
President Joe Biden, surrounded by members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, poses for a photo on the South Lawn of the White House on July 20, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
2/12/2024
Updated:
2/12/2024
0:00

Democratic political strategist James Carville says that President Joe Biden’s decision to skip the Super Bowl interview is a “sign” that the administration has little confidence in him.

Mr. Carville said that President Biden is down by two points in average polls against former President Donald Trump and that the Super Bowl interview was a great opportunity for him to engage with a massive audience.

“It’s the biggest television audience, not even close, and you get a chance to do a 20-, 25-minute interview on that day, and you don’t do it,” Mr. Carville said during an interview on CNN’s “Smerconish” on Feb. 10. “That’s a kind of sign that the staff or yourself doesn’t have much confidence in you. There’s no other way to read this.”

This is the second year in a row that President Biden has turned down a Super Bowl interview, breaking with the tradition that President Barack Obama started in 2009 for a sitting president to talk with the American public.

In this year’s Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs played against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 11. Last year, the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs attracted 115 million viewers.

Host Michael Smerconish agreed with Mr. Carville about the president’s missed opportunity, saying: “It is the one time when the whole country comes together. It’s an election year. It’s advertising. You don’t have to pay for [it], and they passed it up.”

During the interview, Mr. Carville repeatedly mentioned President Biden’s old age. “He is old. I know what it is because I’m almost as old as he is, and it’s never going to get better,” he said.

Mr. Carville’s remarks about President Biden’s old age come at a time when the latter’s mental acuity is being questioned, following special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the investigation into the handling of classified documents by the president.

On Feb. 8, Mr. Hur released a 388-page report that found President Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.” But he decided not to prosecute the president because of a lack of sufficient evidence to establish his guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” and the president’s “poor memory.”
The report described the president as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” The report also referred to the president’s mental fitness as “hazy,” “significantly limited,” and showing signs of “diminished faculties and faulty memory.”

Never Too Late to ‘Change Horses’

In the interview, when asked whether he thought it was too late for the Democratic Party to change President Biden as their presidential candidate, Mr. Carville said, “It’s never too late.” He cited the example of President Lyndon Johnson, who dropped out as a presidential candidate in 1968. However, he noted that such changes can be quite chaotic.

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy also said President Biden wouldn’t secure the nomination for the Democratic Party because of concerns over his mental acuity following the special counsel’s report.

During an interview with Fox News on Feb. 8, Mr. Ramaswamy sent a message to the Democratic establishment: “Just be honest with the American people; tell us who the actual nominee is going to be so that we don’t play these games. And we can actually have an honest, open debate about who should be the next president of the United States because we know that Joe Biden is not going to be one of those candidates.”

The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur predicted that the Democratic Party would consider former First Lady Michelle Obama as its presidential candidate for the 2024 White House bid.

According to Fox News, “Real Time” host Bill Maher said on Feb. 9 that Democrats still have time to replace President Biden at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Many polls have revealed that the majority of voters expressed concerns about President Biden’s mental fitness. A recent NBC News poll found that 72 percent of Americans are concerned about the president’s age.

When President Biden held a press conference to dismiss concerns over his mental fitness following Mr. Hur’s report, he mistakenly mixed up the presidents of Mexico and Egypt.

Aaron Pan is a reporter covering China and U.S. news. He graduated with a master's degree in finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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