CNN host Jake Tapper pressed Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California Friday about President Joe Biden’s decision to skip a traditional interview during Super Bowl Sunday.

Biden decided to skip the interview before Super Bowl LVIII, which will air on CBS Sunday, the second year in a row he has passed on the gig. Biden skipped the interview prior to Super Bowl LVII, which aired on Fox, in 2023, reportedly because he would not do an interview with a Fox News anchor.

“Do you think he needs to be out there more so people see him?” Tapper asked Garcia. “He is not doing the traditional Super Bowl interview with the network that’s hosting the Super Bowl, which this year is CBS. I understand not doing it last year with Fox, this year it’s CBS and he is not doing that. That sends a signal to people. What is he afraid of when it comes to doing that interview?”

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Garcia pushed back, pointing to Biden’s Thursday evening press conference, during which the president lashed out about coverage of special counsel Robert Hur’s report, which found Biden deliberately kept classified documents and describedhim as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

“He is not afraid of anything,” Garcia claimed. “The president has a busy schedule, who cares if he is not doing the Super Bowl interview. He just did yesterday a prime-time press conference, he spoke to House Democrats during the day, he is traveling the country, working on legislation. We have multiple international conflicts across the globe. This idea people are obsessed with him doing that Super Bowl interview or not, he does plenty of interviews, he will continue to do so all across the country.

“He is an active, busy and bright person,” Garcia added. “I think that is the important thing. It is important to look at actually the accomplishments and the results of the Biden/Harris administration, which are plenty. So, that’s really the focus. I don’t think it’s our job to schedule the president or to figure out what he is going to do or not do.”

Biden’s age and mental fitness have become issues following a number of verbal gaffes and misstatements. During Thursday’s press conference, Biden forgot the parish where an annual memorial service for his son, former Democratic Attorney General Beau Biden of Delaware, is held and mistakenly said Mexico bordered the Gaza Strip.

In the last seven days, President Biden twice said he spoke with world leaders who are deceased. He claimed he spoke with former French President Francois Mitterrand, who passed away in 1996, on Sunday, then claimed to have spoken with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol Wednesday, even though Kohl died in 2017.

In September 2022, Biden asked for Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana, who was killed along with two staffers in an August 2022 motor vehicle accident, during a conference on hunger.

Biden also has suffered multiple falls during his term in office, including one at the Air Force Academy June 1, falling down while on his bike in June 2022 and stumbling on the steps of Air Force One on two occasions.

Harold Hutchison on February 9, 2024

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