by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
We know President Biden doesn’t perform well in sit-down interviews; if he was good at them, he would do them all the time. His 60 Minutes interview was his first on-camera sit-down interview in 208 days, since his interview on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night program. That was 118 days after his sit-down with Lester Holt of NBC News.
I think it’s revealing how quickly Biden gets prickly and irritated at the slightest pushback:
SCOTT PELLEY: Mr. President, as you know, last Tuesday the annual inflation rate came in at 8.3 percent. The stock market nosedived. People are shocked by their grocery bills. What can you do better and faster?
BIDEN: Well, first of all, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just — just an inch, hardly at all.
PELLEY: You’re not arguing that 8.3 percent is good news.
BIDEN: No, I’m not saying it is good news. But it was 8.2 percent or — 8.2 percent before. I mean, it’s not — you’re ac — we act — make it sound like all of a sudden, “My God, it went to 8.2 percent.” …
… Just about every Biden sit-down interview features something like this — “that was four or five days ago, man!” or “you’re being a wise guy!” And that’s not getting into Biden’s irritation with the press in non sit-down interviews — “what a stupid son of a bitch!” “Read the polls, Jack! You guys re all the same!”
Biden represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, and at the risk of offending everyone who worked in Delaware political media during those years, I don’t think Biden was subject to the toughest scrutiny or the hardest questions while he was senator. When Biden stepped into the national arena with his presidential races in 1988 and 2008, Biden fell flat on his face with some trainwreck answers and cringe-inducing exchanges with voters.