Mulvaney: Biden's 'mediocre' post-debate interview likely won't change things

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President Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney said he “was flabbergasted” by President Biden’s campaign decision to “hype” up his Friday interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, calling the interview “mediocre” and not “changing anyone’s mind.” 

“I know the White House is describing that interview that you just showed as energetic and eloquent […] either they believe that in which case they have a problem, or they don’t believe that in which they have a problem,” Mulvaney said in an interview with NewsNation’s Markie Martin. 

He added, “I’m a little flabbergasted the fact that the campaign hyped it as much as they did, and then delivered such a sort of a mediocre performance.”

Mulvaney spoke with Martin Saturday morning amid the growing fallout from Biden’s debate performance on June 28. The president stumbled at times and appeared to have a raspy voice. A few minutes into the debate, Democrats had already begun to panic about Biden’s ability to beat Trump.

Since the debate, many Democrats have called on Biden to step down as the party’s nominee, with five sitting House members publicly saying he should. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is believed to be circulating a letter among colleagues to deliver to the president asking him to step down. 

Biden and his campaign have been adamant that he will not step down, and the ABC interview is part of their strategy to alleviate concerns about the president’s ability to serve. 

Democrats, by and large, do not appear to be impressed with the interview, saying it did not do much to alleviate people’s concerns. The fifth House member released their statement calling Biden to stand down after the interview. 

Mulvaney added that he believes Biden’s campaign has managed the post-debate fallout poorly, leading to more problems for the campaign. 

“The debate was bad but the management was even worse,” Mulvaney said. “It was a bad debate, but after that it was the staff that really have to step up and earn their money.” 

However, Mulvaney does not believe that has happened, instead pointing to First Lady Jill Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, stepping in to help the president, saying that their involvement will “tension.” 

“That can create all sorts of tension inside of White House when you’ve got a new group of people, whether or not their families coming in to sort of take over and clean up the mess from the previous team,” Mulvaney added. “That creates a lot of tension, and what you’re seeing is the result of that. You’re not seeing a good, unified, coherent response.” 

Martin asked Mulvaney if he still believed Harris would be the nominee if Biden stood down, and Mulvaney said he believed she was the only viable candidate. 

“I do not know how my Democrat friends would who are so beholden to identity politics, how they pass over the African American woman vice president,” Mulvaney said. “If the President is not able to run, might there be other candidates for better than that. Maybe. But, we went through the primaries, the voters have spoken, and Democrat voters want Joe Biden to stop the ticket.” 

“If that changes, Kamala Harris, my guess is, have to be the candidate or else to rip that party apart,” he added.

Mulvaney also dismissed calls for Biden to take a cognitive test, saying that only “people in the beltway and the media” care about that. 

“I don’t know if the voters back out in the countryside care about a cognitive test,” he said. “They care about their president being able to do the job, and looking like he can do the job, acting like it can do the job. And right now, the impression amongst so many of those voters is that Joe Biden cannot do that. I don’t think cognitive test really answers the question.”

NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.

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