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‘That Guy Was Not On The Stage’: Van Jones Says Biden Isn’t Dealing With ‘Reality’ Despite Coming Out For Interview

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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CNN’s Van Jones said Friday evening President Joe Biden isn’t dealing with “reality” despite interviewing with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

Jones appeared on the network to share his thoughts regarding Biden’s first post-debate interview. Biden had brushed off accusations of being unfit for office despite concerns from both inside his party and potential voters. As CNN’s Jim Sciutto observed Biden’s interview talking points revolved around his potential policies for a second term, he asked Jones if he believed Biden could still be the “party’s salesmen” despite the concerns.  (RELATED: Joe Biden Repeatedly Denies Reality In Primetime ABC Interview)

“Look, the presidency, it turns out, is a speaking role. It’s a speaking role. You’ve gotta be able to talk, you got to be able to do interviews, you got to be able to give speeches, you gotta be able to debate. It’s a speaking role. Everybody goes, ‘Well that’s not’ — no, yes, of course you got to be able to make decisions behind closed doors. But that’s — the presidency is a special role, it’s a speaking role. I thought today you saw more of the Biden that you could feel some confidence in because it’s just the typical voice: a little soft, a little stumbly, bumbly, but nothing alarming, nothing that would panic, nothing that would have you running out the door,” Jones said.

“The problem is when, on the biggest night of the campaign, that guy was not on the stage. So, I do think that today he did better. I do think today that it’s useful. The problem that you have is that the stuff that he said about the campaign is just not factual. And what you love about Biden, in general, is that big heart and he cares, but you don’t want somebody who’s detached from reality. I understand what Gary and Mindy were saying that you wouldn’t go out there and say, ‘Yeah, we’re losing.’ But you have to acknowledge some of the reality.”

“And I think the problem that you have — the panic happening in the party — is people think this guy is detached from reality, he’s got a guard of people around him that won’t tell him the truth and he’s just being stubborn. And I think he did not help himself on that point tonight. He’s no longer ‘Hidin’ Biden,’ give him credit for that. He came out, he talked, he did the interview — that’s good — but he still is not dealing with the reality of how bad this is,” Jones said.

Democrats began to call out the president with concerns for his mental fitness after he appeared to not be able to finish some of his statements during the first 2024 presidential debate. A post-debate CBS/YouGov poll showed 72% of Americans no longer believe Biden has the mental and cognitive health to serve as president, jumping up seven points from a similar poll taken prior to the event.

Amid the fallout from the debate, Democratic National Committee (DNC) members, donors and lawmakers have begun to call for Biden to step aside as the nominee, with some offering for the party to hold a convention-like primary. DNC member James Zogby submitted a letter Tuesday to the committee’s leaders proposing a “controlled process” which could draft a new 2024 nominee.

While surrogates and officials for Biden have denied a possible withdrawal by the president, some Democrat names, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Vice President Kamala Harris, have been floated as potential replacements.