The phone-a-friend edge: Comparing Joe Biden's 'Morning Joe' and Donald Trump's 'Hannity' phone interviews

The phone-a-friend edge: Comparing Joe Biden's 'Morning Joe' and Donald Trump's 'Hannity' phone interviews
Joe Biden and Donald Trump phoned cable news, weighing in on the post-debate scenario (Getty Images, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: Following the first presidential debate last month, President Joe Biden was busy tending to the chaos that erupted in the Democratic Party regarding the future of his reelection bid. Meanwhile, former president Donald Trump stayed away from public spheres for over a week, enjoying the meek victory against his successor on the debate stage.

On Monday, July 8, the presidential election rivals rang up their ideologically allied cable news outlets, showcasing their phone-a-friend advantage amidst the campaign. While Biden dialed MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' days after his one-on-one with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos, Trump called up Fox News' Sean Hannity. But both candidates ensured to stay away from the camera.

U.S. President Joe Biden (R) and Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump participate in the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. President Biden and former President Trump are facing off in the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Donald Trump said Joe Biden was a 'pale-looking man' at the presidential debate (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Trump weighs in on Joe Biden's debate performance on 'Hannity'

Speaking to Hannity on Fox News, Trump failed to come up with a new attack on Biden and repeated his earlier remarks about the POTUS' weak debate performance. "He looked extremely pale, to put it nicely," the former president said in his first interview since June 27, as per Variety.

"Maybe it was a good makeup job, or maybe it wasn't, but he was a pale-looking man," he added.

(Fox News screenshot/YouTube)
Fox News's Sean Hannity interviewed Donald Trump via a phone call in the former president's first interview after debate (Fox News screenshot/YouTube)

In addition, he also took a swipe at First Lady Jill Biden and Hunter Biden, who reportedly stepped up their behind-the-scenes role in the White House after the president's 2024 race was thrown into jeopardy. Trump told Hannity that the first lady wanted her husband to continue in the race; meanwhile, the first son was "calling the shots" in the Biden administration.


The Republican presumptive nominee, who emerged as the default winner of the debate due to his predecessor's struggle to form words, described his visit to the CNN headquarters felt special when Hannity questioned him about his impression of the debate.

Joe Biden dials' Morning Joe'

Biden phoned in MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' co-hosted by Joe Scarborough, and his wife, Mika Brzezinski. The platform was comfortable for the octogenarian compared to his recent post-debate interview on ABC News.

Biden chose sarcasm to mock the Democrats who were urging him to drop out of the election due to his age and concerns about cognitive ability. "I'm getting so frustrated by the elites in the party," he said at one instance and sarcastically added, "They know so much more."

(MSNBC screenshot/YouTube)
Joe Biden reiterated his decision to continue in the race in a phone interview with 'Morning Joe' hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC screenshot/YouTube)

Later in the interview, Biden said that the rustling of paper in the background was from him reading his responses off a list.

Scarborough and Brzezinski pressed the POTUS about real questions; at one point, the latter asked whether Biden had undergone a neurological workup after the debate. The 81-year-old responded to it with a tedious "No."


Both hosts were eventually dominated by the President's assertiveness and indignant tone as he shouted down elites who weren't on the call but were ready to be proven wrong.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden's telephone interviews

Trump is no stranger to phone interviews hiding his physical self. The former president resorted to the lazy-man style campaigning while he was running for office in 2016. With his multiple voice appearances nearly a decade ago, including on platforms like 'Fox & Friends,' the real estate mogul managed to create a cultlike control, insisting he alone could win the election.

Former President and Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2024 in New York City. The former president was found guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first of his criminal cases to go to trial. (Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)
Donald Trump has previously campaigned through phone interviews (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

As Trump installed his own reality through his voice, the incumbent has embraced the same approach to safeguard his reelection bid.

The major difference here is based on what each of them was running against. As an outsider, Trump is running against the Republican Party, proposing a breath of change. On the other hand, it would be impossible for Biden to deviate from the traditional Democratic path that he has followed since entering the Senate in 1973 under President Richard Nixon.

President Joe Biden speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Sherman Middle School on July 05, 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin. Following the rally Biden was expected to sit down for a network interview which is expected to air during prime time as the campaign scrambles to do damage control after Biden's poor performance at last week's debate. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Joe Biden is walking on thin ice, quashing all talks about his exit from the campaign (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

While the former president unsurprisingly had no responsibility to focus on any damage control, the incumbent had to ensure his capability for one more term. In his MSNBC appearance, the octogenarian either disconnected from giving direct answers or ignored the questions. This gave more integrity to the interview, unlike the two radio interviews where the campaign provided the questions beforehand.

Therefore, while his Democratic ticket hangs on a thread, Biden's 'Morning Joe' appearance is the best he could provide in the current predicament.

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