On Tuesday, Joe Biden took part in a wide-ranging interview with members of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). Critics of Biden's presidential campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic have agreed that, until this point, the Delaware Democrat has largely stuck to a script and avoided the pressure of hard-hitting reporters. Until this point.
As I discussed earlier today, the former vice president absolutely crumbled under pressure when CBS correspondent Errol Barnett asked him about whether he had taken cognitive ability tests, as he said he'd done just a month ago.
"No, I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? C'mon, man," Biden snapped at Barnett. Aggravated, Biden then suggested Barnett could have been on drugs and asked if he was a junkie.
"That's like saying you, before you got in this program, if you take a test where you're taking cocaine or not, what do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?" As I said earlier, that interaction only deteriorated from there.
Later on, another journalist involved in the virtual call with the NAHJ and the NABJ released a clip of Biden discussing China. I'll be honest, I have no idea what he was trying to say in this clip. At one point, he seemed to be disparaging Trump, at another the World Health Organization. The only thing that was abundantly clear is that it didn't go well.
I did my very best to transcribe this because, frankly, it needs to be unpacked.
Responding to a question from Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR regarding his plan for the removal of tariffs and how he would move forward with China as president, Biden said he would go about it in a "different way." He then cited some random stats about global Chinese corporate ownership and repeated a common brag about how well he knows General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Xinping.
"I spent a fair amount when I was vice president with President Xi because the president wanted me to get to know him. He's no democrat with a small 'd' at all."
Perplexed, Garcia-Navarro attempted her question once more, even guiding Biden to give the simplest possible answer.
"So if you scrap those tariffs, what do you want in return? Or are you just going to scrap them without any concessions?" she asked.
"Here's the deal," Biden said confidently. "The question is, what is the appropriate behavior that they have to engage in international trade with us? And they have to play by the international rules. And what we have done is we have disarmed ourselves. We make up 25 percent of the world's economy, but we poked our finger in the eye of our allies out there."
Still dodging the question, one could begin to wonder whether Biden knows what tariffs Garcia-Navarro was even asking about, or perhaps if he knows where China is on a map. He took one more shot.
"The way Trump, the way China will respond is when we gather the rest of the world that in fact, engage in free, and in open trade, and making sure that we're in a position that the world that we deal with the WHO the right way, that in fact, that's when things began to change. That's when China's behavior's gonna change."
Seems like Biden didn't get his China notes before this interview. Perhaps they're filed somewhere with those cognitive ability tests he hasn't been taking.