Joe Biden Blames a ‘Really Bad Cold’ for Poor Performance in First Post-Debate TV Interview — Watch Video

President Joe Biden is blaming “a really bad cold” for his poor performance at the first presidential debate opposite Republican challenger Donald Trump, he tells ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in his first televised interview following the debate.

“It was a bad episode” and not a sign of something more serious, Biden insists in a clip from the interview, which you can watch above. “I was exhausted. I didn’t listen to my instincts in terms of preparing. I had a bad night.” When Stephanopoulos presses him on why he didn’t have enough time to prepare, Biden responds: “Because I was sick. I was feeling terrible.” He asked for a COVID test, he says, but the tests all showed no virus or infection: “They just said I had a really bad cold.”

More from TVLine

Biden also takes full responsibility for his debate performance — “nobody’s fault but mine” — but notes that Trump “lied 28 times” during the debate. In the end, “I just had a bad night,” he admits.

POTUS was interviewed on the campaign trail Friday by Good Morning America and This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos, with a first look airing on World News Tonight with David Muir. The full interview will air Friday as a primetime special at 8/7c on ABC, and then again in its entirety on Sunday’s installment of This Week. A full, unedited transcript of the interview will also be made available on Friday.

The comments echoed the President’s forceful statements earlier on Friday at a Wisconsin campaign stop: “I am running, and am gonna win again… Let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m staying in the race. I will beat Donald Trump.” He added: “I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work.”

The interview comes amid calls for Biden to forfeit the Democratic nomination following his showing at the June 27 debate. Nearly 70% of all TVLine readers said that Trump trounced Biden.

One day later, Biden addressed his most vocal critics during a rousing speech in North Carolina. “I know I’m not a young man,” he said. “I don’t walk as easily as I used to. I don’t talk as smoothly as I used to. I don’t debate as well as I used to, but I know what I do know: I know how to tell the truth. I know right from wrong. And I know how to do this job, I know how to get things done. And I know what millions of Americans know: When you get knocked down, you get back up.”

Joe Biden TV Interview with George Stephanopoulos after Presidential Debate
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

On Monday, Biden gave a televised address following a landmark Supreme Court decision that says Trump may claim immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts done during his time in office. He decried the decision and warned about its repercussions on our system of government, calling it “a dangerous precedent, because the power of the office will no longer be constrained by the law.” Biden added that the decision made it “highly, highly unlikely” that Trump will stand trial for election interference before Nov. 5, and that it would be up to the American people to “render a judgment on Donald Trump’s behavior” in the upcoming election.

Press PLAY above to watch Biden’s response, and then leave a comment and let us know what you thought.

Best of TVLine

Get more from Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter