Biden says he has not taken a cognitive test: 'Why the hell would I take a test?'

Biden appeared to compare the question about whether he had taken a cognitive test to asking the reporter if he had taken a drug test: 'Are you a junkie?'

Joe Biden in July 2020
Joe Biden in July 2020
(Mark Makela/Getty Images)
Updated: August 5, 2020 - 11:27pm

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The Trump campaign has targeted Joe Biden's mental acuity as an election issue, but when asked during a recent interview if he had taken a cognitive test, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee seemed to liken the question to asking whether the reporter had undergone a cocaine test.

"No I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?" Biden said in response to the question from Errol Barnett of CBS News. "Come on man," Biden said, proceeding to make the cocaine test comparison, "Are you a junkie?"

Biden twice stumbled while attempting to say the word "fitness" in a sentence during the interview conducted for the virtual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

The Trump campaign in June announced the launch of ", to detail Biden’s descent into incoherence throughout his third campaign for president." 

Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst who served as the White House press secretary during part of the Clinton administration, has argued that Biden should not debate Trump. 

"It's a fool's errand to enter the ring with someone who can't follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it's worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win," Lockhart wrote last month.

While interviewing Lockhart, CNN's Michael Smerconish pointed out that if Biden chose not to debate, Trump could seize upon that for his own political advantage: "Joe, if the president is watching this right now, I could see him rubbing his hands together and saying, 'Oh my God, that would be perfect, because then I of course get to say he's afraid to get on the stage with me, it has to do with his cognitive abilities.'"

Lockhart said that while Trump would do that, "it's worth the risk."

"It's not really a debate if only one side is willing to tell the truth," Lockhart said.


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