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Interview Disaster: Biden Claims to Have 'Put NATO Together' but Was Just 6 Years Old When It Was Founded

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President Joe Biden’s interview with George Stephanopoulos was better than his debate performance last Thursday, that much can be said. That was due to the fact that almost anything that wasn’t the debate last Thursday would be better than the debate last Thursday. If those were the low expectations, that bar was cleared, scarcely.

Other than that, it was a disaster.

Take Biden’s answer at the top of the interview when he was asked by George Stephanopoulos, ABC’s lobber of softballs for the evening, if he knew how bad things were going during the debate. From the transcript:

“Yeah, look. The whole way I prepared, nobody’s fault, mine. Nobody’s fault but mine. I, uh — I prepared what I usually would do sittin’ down as I did come back with foreign leaders or National Security Council for explicit detail. And I realized — ’bout partway through that, you know, all– I get quoted The New York Times had me down, at ten points before the debate, nine now, or whatever the hell it is. The fact of the matter is, what I looked at is that he also lied 28 times. I couldn’t — I mean, the way the debate ran, not — my fault, no one else’s fault, no one else’s fault.”

Four more years! Four more years!

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However, if there was one moment that crystallized just how non-reassuring the results of Friday evening should be for team Biden, perhaps they ought to look later in the debate, when Stephanopoulos asked Biden to look toward the future and make the case for him for being the candidate for another four more years, and he responded in part by saying he “put together NATO” — an institution founded in 1949.

“You talked a lot about your successes in — at the beginning of this interview. And– and I don’t want to dispute that, I don’t want to debate that,” Stephanopoulos said at the outset of the question. (Because of course he didn’t, which is why he was chosen for this interview. But I digress.)

“But — as you know, elections are about the future, not the past,” he continued. “They’re about tomorrow, not yesterday. And the question on so many people’s minds right now is, “Can you serve effectively for the next four years?”

Biden laughed and leaned forward — which is so seldom a good sign if you’re an amateur Biden-ologist, because that’s almost always a tell something weird is about to happen.

Did this interview do anything to rehabilitate Biden after the debate disaster?

“George, I’m the guy that put NATO together, the future,” Biden said.

“No one thought I could expand it. I’m the guy that shut Putin down. No one thought could happen.”

From NATO’s website: “The foundations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) were officially laid down on 4 April 1949 with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty, more popularly known as the Washington Treaty … The Washington Treaty – or North Atlantic Treaty – forms the basis of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – or NATO. The Treaty was signed in Washington D.C. on 4 April 1949 by 12 founding members.”

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Joe Biden, our senescent president, was 6 years old then.

But surely, I can hear you Bidenistas or Media Matters for America operatives combing through this article for bias saying, we can intuit what Joe Biden meant. He was able to bring NATO nations together to support a non-NATO nation which had been invaded by the primary antagonist of NATO — not called the “North Atlantic Treaty Organization” for nothing — Russia. More nations came into the NATO fold under Biden’s presidency.

First, we cannot simply intuit what Joe Biden is saying anymore. He has not earned that presumption of clarity, not after his first adversarial debate in four years revealed him to be a rambling, doddery, physically weak, cognitively withered caricature of himself that was far worse than anything we could anticipate in the controlled and cultivated environments of speeches and media appearances — and those were already bad, mind you, so bad the White House was taking to calling actual videos of the president acting like the president “cheap fakes” in the days and weeks preceding the debate disaster. (Funny how you don’t hear that term tossed around now. But I digress, again.)

Yes, I can probably guess at what the president is trying to get across — but the fact I even have to guess or something strikes viewers as this unusually bad is already a sign this interview was not the knock-it-out-of-the-park performance the president needed.

Second, even if we grant the president the most coherent version of this answer from context, it still doesn’t help his case.

The president is trying to draw a contrast between himself and the former holder of the office — his opponent this November should the president still choose to keep running, Donald J. Trump — because Trump made the heinous mistake of … insisting NATO members live up to their obligations by adequately funding their militaries instead of relying on the United States as the Daddy Warbucks of the joint.

The importance of that has been proved by the events of the Biden administration in Europe, where Russian President Vladimir Putin again resumed his designs on subsuming more Ukrainian territory, this time by invading the country. Biden is not “the guy that shut Putin down” — as evidenced by the fact that Russia now controls wide swaths of Ukraine and NATO aid is, at best, monetary and materiel chemotherapy that stops the Muscovite cancer from spreading further but which cannot completely eradicate it.

Why is NATO expanding? Because invading a NATO country automatically puts you in a state of war with every NATO country, by the nature of the treaty.

Since Putin’s larger designs on Europe, which began taking shape as it became clear the United States was overextended militarily and Biden was weakened due to the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, became apparent, yes, more countries did join the alliance … for protection from the guy Biden claims to have “shut down.” (Finland joined in 2023 and Sweden in 2024.)

So, this is the future of U.S. military strategy and our alliances, where Putin is invited to reassemble the former Soviet Union piecemeal by U.S. weakness and countries join NATO not because of the great strength of the alliance but because the kind of war invasion by Putin would provoke would be terminally problematic for Putin and the world, no matter how weak the West is. And we’re expecting the guy who’s responsible for this state of affairs to face off militarily not just against Vladimir Putin, but also Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping.

This is what Biden thinks of when he thinks of why he’s the man for “the future” of the country and the world. And that’s assuming he didn’t think that he was the guy who “put together NATO” — which is, strictly speaking, what he said.

I’d like to think that was out of the question — but alas, nothing is now. Either way, the answer is disqualifying.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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