Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden lost his cool when asked by a CBS News correspondent whether he had taken a test to measure his mental fitness.
Biden’s repeated public gaffes, during which he often slurs words, misspeaks, and possibly forgets where he is, have for months led to questions about whether his cognitive ability is declining as he ages.
When CBS News’ Errol Barnett asked Biden about this during a virtual convention for the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Biden snapped at the question.
“President Trump has made your mental state a campaign topic, and when asked in June if you’d been tested for cognitive decline, you responded that you’re constantly tested, in effect because you’re in situations like this on the campaign trail,” Barnett began. “But please clarify, specifically, have you taken a cognitive test?”
“No, I haven’t taken a test,” Biden shot back. “Why the hell would I take a test? Come on man, that’s like saying before you got on this program, did you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?”
Barnett was unfazed by the bizarre reply, and persisted in the line of questioning.
“What do you say to President Trump, who brags about his test and makes your mental state an issue for voters,” Barnett asked.
“Well, if he can’t figure out the difference between an elephant and a lion, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Biden replied.
Biden later accused Barnett of “trying to goad” him, and assured Barnett that he was “so forward-looking” to debating President Trump later in the year.
Later in the exchange, Biden badly stumbled while trying to tell Barnett he was eager to have the American people judge his physical and mental fitness.
VP Joe Biden: “Why the hell would I take a test?” youtu.be
Some mainstream media outlets have suggested that Biden not participate in debates with Trump, and Trump has accused the Biden camp of working toward bailing out of the debates. However, Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, told Fox News earlier this week that Biden fully intended to participate in all three scheduled debates.
“Oh yes, he will,” Biden told Fox News’ Dana Perino. “I think they’ve already—I think there’s three debates they’ve decided on. So, yes. He will be there.”
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