Trump has faced questions about his own health and mental abilities, but that hasn’t stopped him from attacking his challenger for the same reasons.
Asked about such attacks in an ABC interview scheduled to air Sunday night, Biden said, “Look at me. Mr. Speaker, look at me. Look at us both. Look at both of us, what we say, what we do, what we control, what we know, what form we are in.
“I think it’s a fair question to ask anyone over 70 if they’re fit or not and if they’re ready. But I come from, [the] the only thing I can say to the American people is a legitimate question for anyone. Look at me. ”
Biden has already challenged Trump to a pressure contest and suggested he beat him in high school.
ABC published excerpts from their interview with Biden and Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old California senator who is Biden’s running mate.
Biden said he sees himself as a transitional figure, which has led many to predict he would only serve four years if elected. If he ran and won in 2024, he would be 82 on the day of the inauguration. By passing power, he would be 86 years old.
“We haven’t spent enough time building the Democratic Party bench,” Biden told ABC. ” …So [what] I want to make sure that when this is over we have a new Senate, we have reclaimed the states, we are in a position where we move into a period where people gain the visibility they need to be able to lead nationally. . And it’s about uplifting people. And that’s what I am.
When asked if he “leaves open the possibility of you serving eight years if elected,” Biden replied, “Absolutely.”
Also on ABC Sunday, deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield told this week that Biden had not had the coronavirus and “had not been tested.”
“To move forward,” she said, “if he needed to be tested, he would be.
She also said the campaign had “incredibly strict protocols in place to ensure that everyone involved around Vice President Biden, who is around Senator Harris, undergoes the proper testing.”
In the joint interview, Biden was asked about how he would handle the ruling pandemic.
“I would shut it down,” he said, asking if he would shut down the country if necessary. “I was listening to scientists.
“I will be ready to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot move the country until we control the virus. This is the fundamental flaw in the thinking of this administration at the start. In order for the country to keep running and moving, for the economy to keep growing and for people to work, you have to fix the virus, you have to face the virus. ”
Trump responded on Twitter, writing, “Despite the biggest job gains ever and a V-shaped recovery, Joe Biden said, ‘I would shut it down,’ referring to our country. He has no idea!
In fact, the US economy continues to struggle and this week the number of people claiming unemployment benefits, down from dizzying spring highs, has rebounded by more than one million.
In a separate, solo interview with ABC, Biden was asked about another central campaign topic as protests against police brutality continue: “President Trump says you want to disband the police. Do you? ”
“No, I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to cancel funding for police services. I think they need more help, they need more help, but look, there are unethical senators, there are unethical presidents, there are unethical presidents. Unethical doctors, unethical lawyers, unethical prosecutors, there are unethical cops. They should be rooted out. ”
In the joint interview, ABC’s David Muir referred to Trump’s attacks on Harris, which appear in part to be inspired by his difficult questioning of appointees, including Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, during Senate deliberations.
“President Trump called you ‘bad guy’, ‘kind of crazy’, ‘disaster’, ‘meanest, most horrible, most disrespectful of anyone in the US Senate’. How do you define what you hear from the president? “Harris laughed and said, “Look, I think there is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what they do every day in the world. About neglect, neglect and harm to the American people. . ”
“And incompetence,” Biden added. “The idea that he would say something like that – no president, no president has ever said anything like that. No president has ever used those words.
“And no president said that people would come out of the fields with torches and spit out anti-Semitic bile and meet people who opposed them, and that someone would die, and he said they are good people. on both sides. No president of the United States has ever said anything like this. ”
It was a reference to the far-right protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 in which a counter-protester, Heather Heyer, was killed. Biden said these events and Trump’s response helped inspire his third White House run.