Ex-Obama adviser Axelrod rips Biden’s ABC interview: ‘Denial. Delusion. Defiance.’ – Washington Examiner

Top Democratic strategist and former Obama adviser David Axelrod slammed President Joe Biden after the 81-year-old refused to heed concerns about his mental decline during his latest interview. 

In an op-ed for CNN on Saturday, Axelrod expressed his concern that Biden’s ABC interview only exacerbated concerns about the president’s mental decline.

“Biden could be excused for wanting to put his awful debate performance in the rear view mirror. That was his purpose Friday in sitting down for the interview —  to try and quell the panic that has gripped the Democratic Party,” Axelrod wrote. “He didn’t succeed.”

David Axelrod speaks during a memorial service for former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

During an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Friday, Biden glazed over concerns that his mental state is compromised and rebuffed demands that he take a cognitive test. 

“It was a bad episode,” the president told Stephanopoulos as they discussed Biden’s incoherent debate performance last week. “No indication of any serious condition. I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing and — and a bad night.”

The president’s debate performance was at times rambling and incomprehensible as Biden froze several times and trailed off in response to many of the moderators’ questions. 

During the ABC interview, Biden continued to stand firm against taking a neurological test after Stephanopoulos repeatedly pressed the president on the matter. 

“Look. I have a cognitive test every single day. Every day I have that test. Everything I do,” Biden told Stephanopoulos. “You know, not only am I campaigning, but I’m running the world.” 

Axelrod slammed Biden for refusing to wake up to concerns that his reelection is headed for failure, writing that Biden is “likely headed for a landslide defeat to a lawless and unpopular former president.”

Axelrod used three words to describe Biden’s failure to drop out of the race: “Denial. Delusion. Defiance.”

The political strategist rounded out his searing critique with a warning for the president. 

If Biden doesn’t drop out, he wrote, “it will be Biden’s age, and not Trump’s moral and ethical void, that will dominate the rest of this most important campaign and sully the president’s historic legacy.”


This isn’t the first time the Democratic strategist has had strong words for Biden. In early May, he called Biden’s refusal to prioritize voters’ economic concerns “a terrible mistake.”

In addition to prominent left-wing strategists, Democratic members of Congress are calling on Biden to step aside. On Saturday,  Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) became the fifth House Democrat to break with their party as she called on Biden to withdraw from the presidential race.