Joe Biden rebuked a reporter who asked if the former vice president had taken a cognitive test, claiming that asking the question was similar to asking the interviewer if he was using cocaine.
CBS correspondent Errol Barnett prompted the presumptive Democratic nominee to clarify if he had taken a test measuring his mental acuity, leading to a tense exchange.
“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man,” Biden said. “That’s like saying to you, before you got on this program if you had taken a test were you taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?”
A clip from the interview, which was conducted as part of the virtual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, was released Wednesday morning.
Biden has long bristled at claims that he is mentally slowing. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is prioritizing Biden’s cognitive ability as a key issue, aiming to portray Biden as doddering and incompetent.
At a press conference in late June, a reporter asked Biden if he had taken a cognitive test. The former vice president did not directly answer and instead claimed he was “constantly tested” by the demands of the campaign trail.
“I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,” Biden said at the time.
In the interview segment released on Wednesday, Biden again went after Trump.
“Well, if he can’t figure out the difference between an elephant and a lion, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Biden said, referencing questions on Trump’s reported cognitive test that made headlines during a July interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News.
Biden, who is 77, would be the oldest person to assume the presidency on Inauguration Day if he is elected, beating Trump, 74, who is the current record-holder.
A June POLITICO/Morning Consult poll found voters largely viewed Trump and Biden’s health the same, with slightly more voters responding the Republican was in poorer health.