‘I’m still in good shape’: Biden rejects calls for independent medical review – Times of India

President Joe Biden addressed concerns about his age and fitness for another term in office, rejecting the idea of an independent medical evaluation in a recent ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos. The 81-year-old president insisted that he undergoes daily cognitive tests through the rigorous tasks he faces in his job.
“Look, I have a cognitive test every single day.Every day, I have that test. Everything I do. You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world”, Biden said.
During the interview, Biden maintained that he is not more frail than earlier in his presidency, citing ongoing assessments by his personal doctors who would not hesitate to inform him of any issues. He acknowledged his limitations, saying, “Can I run the 100 in 10 flat? No. But I’m still in good shape.” Regarding his debate performance, Biden admitted to not listening to his instincts in terms of preparation and allowing Trump’s disruptions to distract him.
Despite completing the 22-minute interview without major blunders, it remains uncertain whether Biden’s performance will fully alleviate concerns about his ability to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming November election.
The drawn-out spectacle surrounding Biden’s candidacy could benefit his efforts to remain in the race by limiting the party’s options to replace him, but it may also distract from crucial efforts to frame the 2024 race as a referendum on Trump.
At times, Biden’s responses during the interview were rambling, veering from topic to topic. When asked how he might turn the race around, he highlighted the importance of large and energetic rallies, like the one he held in Wisconsin. Biden also insisted that he is the “most qualified” to lead Democrats against Trump, whom he accused of being a “pathological liar” and failing to create jobs or benefit anyone but himself.
The interview, along with weekend campaigns in battleground states, is part of Biden’s effort to course-correct from his rocky debate performance. However, internal party frustrations continue to simmer, with some Democrats quietly discussing alternative options if the president drops out or the implications of him staying in the race. One influential Democratic senator is reportedly working on a nascent push to encourage Biden to exit the race.
Despite the private angst among Democratic lawmakers, donors, and strategists, most in the party have refrained from public criticism as they wait to see if the president can restore confidence through his weekend travel and handling of the interview. The top Democrats on House committees are planning a virtual meeting to discuss the situation, while at least four House Democrats have called for Biden to step down as the nominee.
In the interview, Biden laughed off the idea of being persuaded to leave the race, saying, “If the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that, I might do that.” However, there were a few signs of discontent at his campaign rally, with one person waving a sign reading “Pass the torch Joe” and a few people urging him to move on.
The question of Biden’s fitness for another term remains a contentious issue within the Democratic party as the 2024 election approaches. While some supporters find his energy reassuring, others are deeply frustrated and split on whether he should stay or go.
(With agency inputs)

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