Joe Biden’s Time Interview Was Full Of Senior Moments

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Reagan Reese White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden’s interview with Time Magazine was full of slip-ups and gaffes, feeding into concerns about the 81-year-old’s fitness for office ahead of the 2024 election.

Time Washington Bureau Chief Massimo Calabresi and Editor-in-Chief Sam Jacobs conducted an interview with Biden and released the transcript Tuesday, as well as a fact-check on some of the president’s statements. Throughout the interview, the president attempted to quell concerns about his age, but not before he forgot the timeline of calls, where key officials were and other various facts. (RELATED: McDonald’s, Missiles & Marches: Biden’s Thursday Devolves Into All-Time Gaffe Reel)

“What are the nature of your conversations with the Israelis right now? Have you spoken with Bibi?” Time asked Biden.

“I have not spoken with Bibi since—I have not spoken with Bibi since the attack on Sunday. Was it Sunday?” Biden said, before White House communications director Ben LaBolt confirmed that the president was right. 

At another point in the interview, Biden seemed to lose track of where the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Bill Burns, had recently been.

“On what Hamas has done, are the eight US hostages there in Gaza is still alive?” the magazine asked.

“We believe there are those that are still alive. I met with all the families,” the president began. “But we don’t have final proof on exactly who’s alive and who’s not alive. And by the way, I’ve been calling for—we should have a ceasefire, period. And to get those hostages. That’s the main reason why we push.”

“Both the Israelis desperately want a ceasefire in order to get the hostages home. And it’s a way to begin to break the momentum. And so that’s why we’re pushing hard for the—and we’re—Is our intelligence chief in? Where is he now?” Biden said, causing White House national security spokesman John Kirby to jump in. 

“He is back, sir. He was just over in Europe, in Brussels, over the weekend,” Kirby told the president.

People in the executive branch are so busy that they can’t be blamed for not remembering details such as what day of the week certain things happened several weeks ago, a White House official told the Daily Caller.

Later in the interview, Time Magazine noted that the president appeared to confuse Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese President Xi Jinping when talking about China.

“But Mr. President, won’t your newly announced tariffs raise the prices on American consumers?” TIME asked.

“No, because here’s the deal. There’s a difference. I made it clear to Putin from the very beginning that—I’m not, we’re not engaging in…For example, Trump wants a 10% tariff on everything. That will raise the price of everything in America,” the president responded. 

The president also added that there would be “a billion people” in Africa in the coming years, though there are already 1.4 billion people living on the continent, the interview transcript shows.

Biden, at one point during the interview, began to talk about deforestation in the Amazon of South America, before going on to say that the situation was the reason why his administration was working to install solar infrastructure in the African country of Angola.

“We, on the climate side, have come along and we’ve done everything that is reasonably—and three other countries are the reason we’re in the problem we’re in. But what happens if all of a sudden, on the Amazon, they’re starting to clear, vast swaths of land, cut down forests, etc.,” Biden started, answering a question on potential second term goals.

“Back when Dick Lugar was alive, he and I started something back in the 90s, where we said—late 80’s, excuse me—where we said to, in the Amazon, they said, look, if you, we’ll make a deal with you Brazil. You don’t cut your forest, we’ll pay you not to do it. We’ll pay you not to do it, We have to prevent—And that’s why we’re working so hard to make sure Angola can be in a position that they have more solar capacity than almost any place in the world, to help that whole continent,” he continued.

Seventy-six percent of Americans said in February they were worried about Biden’s age and health. Special Counsel Robert Hur concluded a report into the president’s handling of classified documents on Feb. 8. Though Hur chose not to pursue charges against Biden, he justified his decision by saying the jury might see Biden as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

During a two-day, five hour interview between Hur and Biden, the president appeared to forget when his vice presidency started and ended as well as the date of his late son, Beau Biden’s death. (RELATED: Team Biden Reportedly Going All-In On One Big Hail Mary To Turn Campaign Around)

“And what do you say to Americans who are worried about it?” the TIME asked, referring to Biden’s age.

“Watch me. Look, name me a president that’s gotten as much done as I’ve gotten done in my first three and a half years,” Biden responded.

“When all of you wrote in Time magazine I couldn’t get any of it done. When you told me there’s no pay, no way, no way he can get a trillion-plus dollar bill done in terms of, to deal with infrastructure, where there’s no way he gets $368 billion for dealing with the environment, where there’s no way I could get the, the, the legislation passed on,” he added.


Max Keating contributed to this report.