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Biden campaign prepared questions for ‘I’m a black woman’ interview

The US president’s team has said “it is not at all uncommon” for guests to share topics they would prefer to discuss with journalists

Two radio hosts who conducted the first interviews with Joe Biden after his disastrous performance in the June 27 debate against Donald Trump have said that they were provided with lists of approved questions by the US president’s campaign staff.

Biden made appearances on radio shows with largely black audiences in the critical states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Thursday, a week after his face-off with Trump, in which the 81-year-old president appeared frail and seemingly lost his train of thought on multiple occasions.

The interviews were seen as an opportunity for Biden to show his critics, including those in his own Democratic Party, that he is in good enough shape to seek reelection and is capable of discussing his record and answering questions coherently.

However, the radio appearances were marred with more gaffes, with the president, among other things, describing himself as a “black woman.”

“By the way, I’m proud to be, as I said, the first vice president, first black woman… to serve with a black president. Proud to be involved of the first black woman on the Supreme Court. There’s so much that we can do because… look, we’re the United States of America,” Biden said on The Earl Ingram Show on Wisconsin’s CivicMedia.

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Host Earl told AP on Saturday that the Biden campaign gave him five “exact questions to ask” ahead of the interview. “There was no back and forth,” he added.

“I probably would never have accepted, it but this was an opportunity to talk to the president of the United States,” Ingram explained.

A few hours earlier, Andrea Lawful-Sanders, the host of The Source, a program on WURD in Pennsylvania, told CNN that “the questions were sent to me for approval; I approved of them” ahead of the interview with Biden.

The Biden campaign’s spokeswoman, Lauren Hitt, confirmed the radio hosts’ claims, saying in a statement that “it is not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to news of the day.”

“We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners,” Hitt stressed.

A source within Biden’s team told CBS News that it “will refrain from offering suggested questions” to journalists in his future interviews.

A poll by Reuters/Ipsos revealed that one in three Democrats believes that Biden should quit the race after his debate performance, while some key donors have reportedly demanded that the president be replaced on the party’s ticket.


READ MORE: Biden says he’ll only listen to ‘Lord Almighty’

In his interview with ABC News on Friday, Biden rejected the possibility of stepping down, insisting that he was “the most qualified person” to defeat Trump.

 

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