Biden says he saw a doctor after the debate and acknowledges: 'I screwed up'


President Joe Biden told Democratic governors Wednesday that he’d been cleared by a doctor after last week’s debate, contradicting earlier statements from the White House about his medical care.

The president met with the Democratic governors in person and by video call Wednesday evening and faced questions about last week’s devastating debate performance.

Asked whether he’d received medical care after the debate, he told the assembled governors he was checked out by a doctor and that everything was fine, according to two sources familiar with the exchange. A few hours earlier, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated that Biden hadn’t undergone any medical exams since February when he last received a thorough physical and took several tests.

Politico first reported Biden’s comments, which come as the president seeks to shore up supporters on the left amid concerns about his ability to do his job — and defeat Donald Trump in November.

In a radio interview with a Wisconsin station that aired in full Thursday, Biden told listeners: “I had a bad night, I had a bad night. And the fact of the matter is … I screwed up, I made a mistake.”

He continued: “I didn’t have a good debate. That’s 90 minutes onstage. Look at what I’ve done in 3.5 years. I led the economy back from the brink of collapse.”

Acknowledging their earlier omission, the White House now says that Biden hasn’t had a physical since February but that he has seen a doctor regularly since then for brief check-ins, including after the debate.

“Several days later, the President was seen to check on his cold and was recovering well,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates told NBC News in a statement Thursday morning. The White House added that Biden hasn’t undergone any kind of neurological scan since the debate a week ago.

Like other presidents, Biden has a personal physician who travels with him and is on hand for any needs.

Biden’s meeting with governors was organized by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, as part of a broader effort to tamp down on concerns about his poor debate performance and the path forward.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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