President Joe Biden sat down for a relatively rare mainstream media interview, and even though “60 Minutes” anchor Scott Pelley tossed softball questions in his direction, his answers were frequently garbled and sometimes verged on incoherence.
It is impossible to know how many of the president’s trademark flubs and gaffes ended up on the cutting room floor, but the edited version that aired on CBS over the weekend provided enough evidence for many of Biden’s critics to insist that he was handled with kid gloves throughout the interview.
Former President Donald Trump, the leading contender to face off against Biden in next year’s general election, issued a social media statement asserting that Pelley and his employer “should be ashamed of themselves” for the way the interview was conducted.
Assailing “60 Minutes” for agreeing to lead Biden “along like a lost child,” Trump argued that every question asked, “contained the answer, and was so weakly and apologetically asked that it was a JOKE which should be considered a campaign contribution to the Democrat Party.”
He went on to cite the “highly partisan” TV newsmagazine’s checkered record on issues like Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop computer, concluding that the show is “protecting” the president despite the fact that he is “the most corrupt and incompetent” individual to ever serve in the office.
Trump listed several examples — including the economy, the border, and the Middle East crisis — as examples of Biden’s perceived failures.
“The Carter Administration looks absolutely brilliant by comparison,” he added. “The only thing the Biden Regime does well is go after Crooked Joe’s political opponent, ME, but even that will fail.”
The former president also addressed the interview during a campaign event on Monday, telling the audience: “The questions — ‘Isn’t it true that you really like Israel a lot and that you’ll do this and this?’ and he goes, ‘Yes.’ ‘Isn’t it true …?’ They don’t treat me that way on ‘60 Minutes.’”
Scott Pelley's latest softball interview with Biden on '60 Minutes' ends by underlining Biden's apparent love of Israel, and how he wants to run again to make everything better. Tick tick tick. More 'Syrupy Minutes' on CBS. pic.twitter.com/mK3VIoNdYi
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) October 16, 2023
Pelley’s goal of setting low expectations for Biden’s performance during the interview was apparent before the segment even aired.
“Late Thursday, we met President Biden at the White House,” he explained prior to the air date. “It had been a rough week, and we could see it on him. Mr. Biden will be 81 next month, and he has said that when he’s tired, his life-long stutter can creep back in.”