US elections: Joe Biden says debate was a "bad episode"

US president asserted that only the "Lord Almighty" could make him drop out of the race to win the 5 November election

Biden said he was "exhausted” and "sick” during his first presidential debate 
 (photo: @POTUS/X)
Biden said he was "exhausted” and "sick” during his first presidential debate (photo: @POTUS/X)


US president Joe Biden on Friday, 5 July said he had “a bad night” and he was "exhausted” and "sick” during his first presidential debate with his Republican rival Donald Trump.

He asserted that only the "Lord Almighty" could make him drop out of the race to win the 5 November election.

Biden, 81, said this in a television interview, a week after his subpar debate performance in Atlanta on 27 June against Trump, following which some of his own party leaders started urging him to step down and his approval rating plummeted.

Seeking his second term from his fellow Americans, Biden alleged that Trump is a pathological liar.

"It was a bad episode. No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn't listen to my instincts in terms of preparing and -- and a bad night," Biden told ABC News during his first interview after the debate, adding that his top party leadership are asking him to stay in the race.

"Because I was sick. I was feeling terrible. Matter of fact the docs (doctors are) with me. I asked if they did a COVID test because they're trying to figure out what was wrong. They did a test to see whether or not I had some infection, a virus. I didn't. I just had a really bad cold," he said and reiterated multiple times that he is running for presidency.

Blaming himself for the bad debate night, Biden said, "Yeah, look. The whole way I prepared, nobody's fault but mine. I prepared what I usually would do sitting down as I did come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail," adding that Trump "lied 28 times" during the debate.

Biden said none of the major Democratic party leaders have asked him to drop out and asserted that he would withdraw only if the "Lord Almighty" asked him to.

“If the Lord Almighty came down and said 'Joe, get out of the race,' I'd get out of the race. The lord Almighty’s not coming down,” he added.

The president tried to avoid questions on both his mental fitness and cognitive tests.

"Do you dispute that there have been more lapses, especially in the last seven months?” Biden was asked. "Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I’m still in good shape," he responded.

“Are you more frail?” he was asked. "No. Come keep my schedule," he said.

The president said undergoes cognitive tests daily.

“Look, I have a cognitive test every single day," Biden said when asked if he would be willing to undergo an independent medical evaluation, including neurological and cognitive tests.

"You know, not only am I campaigning, I’m running the world... That sounds like hyperbole, but we are the central nation in the world,” said the president.

In a reaction to the Biden’s interview, Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna, according to The New York Times, said he expected “complete transparency” from the White House and a willingness to answer “many legitimate questions” from the news media and voters about the president’s abilities.

“He has to earn that trust, and that requires more than one interview,” Khanna was quoted as saying by the daily.

The ABC News said it offered a similar one-on-one interview to Trump but he declined.

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