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Biden Mocks Trump’s ‘Old’ Ideas in Surprise Late-Night Spot

Lloyd Bishop/NBC
Lloyd Bishop/NBC

Back when Seth Meyers first started hosting Late Night in 2014, he brought on fellow SNL cast member Amy Poehler as his first official interview guest. Both in real life and as the fictional Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec, Poehler had a long-running joke about having a crush on then-Vice President Joe Biden, so it was a fun surprise when the man himself showed up too.

On that debut episode, the then-71-year-old Biden addressed a recent controversy over him referring to LaGuardia as a “Third World country,” talked about a viral photo of himself pointing and grinning at a colleague during the State of the Union Address, and talked about how much he loves trains. In other words, it was a pretty typical Biden talk show appearance.

A decade later, Meyers brought Poehler back as a guest for his show’s 10th anniversary. And at first he claimed that Biden was too busy to join this time around, but Poehler told him, “Oh, I can get him… Hey Mr. President?” And in walked Biden to patriotic music and a standing ovation.

Biden has been on Meyers’ show a few times already since that first episode, but this is his first as sitting president, as well as his first late-night appearance since a GOP-led special counsel report raised doubts about Biden’s age and its impact on his mental health. The report was followed by several weeks of overhyped media speculation over whether Biden should resign, or whether the concerns over his age were overblown. Fairly or not, it has proven to be among the biggest issues voters have with him as a candidate, which may explain his decision to address those concerns head-on with Meyers.

The host brought the issue up with Biden after the first commercial break, and the president responded with a plea to voters: “You got to take them together, guys. [Trump] is about as old as I am but he can’t remember his wife’s name.” The studio applauded. (The president was referring to a moment from Trump’s CPAC speech in which he seemed to call his wife Melania “Mercedes,” but in reality Trump may have just been referencing his former adviser Mercedes Schlapp.)

But Biden’s next point was more salient. “It’s about how old your ideas are,” he told Meyers. “Look, [Trump] is a guy who wants to take us back, he wants to take us back on Roe v. Wade. He wants to take us back on a whole range of issues that for 50, 60 years have been solid American positions.”

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When asked about his agenda for the next term, Biden answered, “To finish the job.” He accused Republicans of killing the recent immigration bill just to spite him, and promised he’d get it passed anyway.

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” Biden told viewers. Specifically, he pointed to Trump’s blatantly pro-Russian, anti-NATO platform. “What in God’s name?” he said. “The idea that the president of the United States is inviting Vladimir Putin to invade Western countries? It’s bizarre, absolutely bizarre.”

Biden also warned that Trump will be a dictator if he’s re-elected, slamming the former president for his inciting of the Jan. 6 insurrection and praising of the people who were arrested for storming the Capitol.

Interest around Biden’s interview was also growing thanks to a C-SPAN clip earlier in the day of Biden and Meyers going out for ice cream. There, Biden was asked by reporters about whether there was any progress on achieving a possible Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal. “My national security adviser tells me that they’re close,” Biden had said. “They’re close—they’re not done yet. My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire.”

It was only at the very end of this Late Night interview that Biden broached this topic. “Here’s the path forward,” he said. “First of all, the hostages need to be released… there will be a ceasefire while that takes place. Ramadan’s coming up and Israel has said they would not engage in activities during Ramadan (March 10), in order to give us time to get us all the hostages out.”

Biden also reaffirmed that he is hoping for a two-state solution: “There’s ways to do this… I don’t have time to go into it right now, but in the meantime there are too many innocent people that are being killed.”

The president ended his talk on the subject with an apparent call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tone down his recent actions and rhetoric. “Israel has had the overwhelming support of the vast majority of nations,” Biden claimed. “If it keeps up with this incredibly conservative government it has… they’re going to lose the support from around the world, and that is not in Israel’s best interest.”

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On the lighter end of things, Biden and Poehler reminisced about their scene together in Parks and Rec—the one where a star-struck Leslie Knope met Biden in person for the first time. “You nailed it,” Poehler told Biden about his performance.

Meyers also talked to Biden about his campaign’s co-opting of the Dark Brandon meme, asking him if he “enjoys” playing around with the joke. “No, I resent the hell out of it,” Biden answered, before putting on those famous sunglasses.

Meyers then asked Biden if there was any truth to the internet conspiracy theories about him and Taylor Swift being in cahoots, to which Biden (still in sunglasses) said, “Where are you getting this information?” When Meyers brought up the administration’s famous troll tweet after the Super Bowl, where he joked about rigging the Super Bowl in the Chiefs favor, Biden denied rigging the big game. But he did remind anyone watching that Swift endorsed him in 2020.

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