CNN anchor Jake Tapper was skeptical of President Biden for skipping the traditional presidential Super Bowl interview this year, asking Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif., what the president is "afraid of."
Tapper’s comments happened during an episode of his network show, "The Lead" on Friday, in the wake of Biden’s press conference responding to Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report calling him an "elderly man with poor memory."
In light of the renewed conversation about Biden’s mental acuity, Tapper pressed the lawmaker on whether Biden is hiding because of this impression that he’s confused and gaffe-prone.
He began by noting Biden’s recent viral gaffes, one being his claim that he recently met with former French President Mitterrand, who died before Biden became president, another that he claimed he spoke to late former German chancellor Helmut Kohl in 2021 – when he died in 2017 – and the latest one involving him confusing the presidents of Mexico and Egypt in a press conference he gave the quality of his memory.
He pressed Garcia, who was there to defend Biden, stating, "Now look, people misspeak. I get it. I misspeak. But part of the job of president is having the confidence of the American people in your faculties. Forget what Robert Hur said in the report, this is President Biden speaking publicly."
The host then asked the lawmaker if he can fathom why "a majority of Democrats are concerned."
Garcia went to bat for Biden, declaring, "I mean, there should be no concern. Here’s the reality. President Biden, who I’ve been around numerous times just in this last year, is sharp, he’s focused, he’s bright, he’s experienced. And with age also comes incredible wisdom."
"This is the most prepared person ever to be President of the United States," he added.
Garcia also touted Biden’s presidential accomplishments, and said that Democrats are "actually very confident in this president."
Tapper acknowledged Garcia’s points, but suggested that Biden has "aged" since he started covering him nearly two decades ago.
He then brought up Biden skipping the Super Bowl interview, stating, "[Biden's] not doing the traditional Super Bowl interview with the network that’s hosting the Super Bowl."
"What is he afraid of when it comes to doing that interview?" Tapper asked.
Garcia laughed it off, and denied that ducking the interview is a concern. He replied, "He’s not afraid of anything. First, the president’s got a busy schedule. I mean, who cares if he’s not doing the Super Bowl interview? Just yesterday he did a primetime press conference."
After Garcia touted more of Biden’s accomplishments and issues he’s dealing with, Tapper replied, "It’s not that people care about whether or not he does the Super Bowl interview. It’s a missed opportunity to speak to tens of millions of Americans."