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James Carville says Joe Biden Super Bowl interview snub reflects White House’s lack of ‘confidence’

James Carville, a longtime Democratic political strategist and media pundit, said that Joe Biden passing on an interview on Super Bowl Sunday showed the White House has little confidence in him as a candidate.

Presidential interviews on Super Bowl Sunday became a tradition in 2009 with former President Barack Obama. Mr Biden turned down and interview last year, and has turned down this year's interview as well.

Donald Trump also turned down an interview in 2018 with NBC.

During an interview on CNN, Mr Carville said that Mr Biden refusing the interview was a sign that his staff did not have confidence in his abilities.

“It’s the biggest television audience, not even close, and you get a chance to do a 20, 25-minute interview on that day, and you don’t do it, that’s a kind of sign that the staff or yourself doesn’t have much confidence in you. There’s no other way to read this,” he said.

Biden proponents have complained that news sites are focusing too much on the president's age at a time when Donald Trump is facing numerous criminal charges. The focus on Mr Biden's came after special counsel Robert Hur reported that the DOJ would not seek charges in its classified documents case against the president in part due to his age and "poor memory."

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” Mr Hur wrote.

He continued, suggesting that there might be some question among a jury over his "mental state of willfulness."

“Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness,” he wrote.

Mr Biden took offence to the comment and fired back, insisting that there was nothing wrong with his memory.

“My memory’s fine … Take a look at what I’ve done since I became president … How did that happen? I guess I just forgot what was going on,” Mr Biden said during a press conference.

Mr Biden has taken fewer interviews than his most recent presidential predecessors. His last major network interview was in October with CBS News.