Top 3 things President Biden has to nail in his primetime interview: Experts


As President Biden, 81, seeks to address mounting concerns about his mental acuity during his ABC primetime interview Friday night, he will have to convey to his Democratic base and middle-of-the-road voters that he is fit to remain the commander-in-chief another four years.

Here are the top three things President Biden has to nail in his highly anticipated interview with George Stephanopoulos, according to political strategists.

1. Clarity of his mental acuity

Biden will undoubtedly have to “speak forcefully” and clearly to start dispelling concerns that he is unfit to continue on as president. The purpose of the interview, first and foremost, will be to show voters that Biden’s poor debate performance against former President Trump was “a moment in time” and “not a symptom of how he is,” according to Democratic strategist Mustafa Rashed.

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President Biden, left, will sit down with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos for a pre-taped interview on Friday. (Getty Images)

“It’s not even going to be about the issues,” Rashed – president and CEO of the Philadelphia-based Bellevue Strategies government firm – told Fox News Digital in an interview. 

“This is squarely a referendum on the president and his ability to do the job.”

The “little things” will go a long way, Rashed continued, adding that Biden will have to meet “a very high bar” and speak clearly since he faced criticism for his raspy voice during the debate. 

“They may be guised through policy questions, because that’s how you get someone to talk about subjects that they are very well versed on, but the subject quality of the answers is what we’re going to be watching is how he answers, not necessarily what but how he answers,” Rashed said. 

“Middle ground voters are the ones that have questions,” Rashed continued. “It’s not Republicans, they already know how they feel about this president. He’s trying to win independent voters and shore up Democrats to believe that he’s best person for the job.”

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Democrats and liberal media pundits are dismissing polls showing former President Trump, left, gaining support among Black voters. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images | Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

2. Winning back Democrats who have thrown in the towel

A handful of Democratic lawmakers have already called on President Biden to retire, while several others have expressed concerns about the president’s age. Regaining their trust ahead of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) convention is crucial.

“There’s possible revolt within the Democratic Party, and he’s got to make sure they say, ‘Okay, well, we’re going to keep him on board, we are better off having this guy as our standard bearer than the chaos of throwing it open and having an unclear procedure about what comes next,'” presidential historian Tevi Troy told Fox News Digital.

Keeping Biden on the ticket would be better for the DNC versus “having an unvetted candidate take over, or the other alternative is an unpopular Kamala Harris,” Troy, who served in senior leadership in HHS in the George W. Bush administration, said.

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“It’s not so easy to replace him, so you’ve got to reassure the Democratic base. And then the third thing is you’ve got to reassure the larger voting public,” he said. “You’ve got to get that kind of middle of the road voter who says, you know, ‘I don’t like Trump, but I want somebody who is going to be able to stand up to Putin or Xi without falling asleep or wilting.'”

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A handful of Democratic lawmakers have already called on President Biden to retire. (Joe Biden on MSNBC screenshot)

3. The economy

As everyday Americans feel the impact of inflation in their wallets, President Biden must articulate his plans to bolster the economy, especially among swing-state voters.

“Our common ground poll we do every quarter, and consistently, the number one issue, and overwhelmingly, is inflation and the economy,” Nathan Benefield, senior vice president of the Pennsylvania-based think tank Commonwealth Foundation, told Fox News Digital.

“When you get down to the numbers, wages in the last three years have not kept up with with prices, and so Pennsylvania families are literally poorer than they were three years ago,” Benefield said. “That’s that’s weighing on them. I think the President needs to address that and acknowledge that cost, and acknowledge the government’s role in that and talk about the solutions to inflation from from that perspective, rather than shifting the blame or ignoring that problem entirely.”

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Benefield suggested that people are experiencing inflation everywhere, in grocery stores with higher prices for food products, when dining out less due to increased costs, at the gas pump, and notably in housing, where interest rates and prices have risen.

“And so you really have kind of seen [inflation] across the board,” he said.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.



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