Jill Biden was largely given a pass from tough questions when she did the broadcast network morning show version of the “full Ginsburg” Wednesday, appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” “CBS This Morning” and NBC’s “Today” after delivering the keynote address Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
“As the former second lady appeared on ABC, NBC and CBS’s morning shows for interviews following her husband’s nomination last night, the journalists used the opportunity to schmooze with Biden and throw softball questions,” Media Research Center analyst Kristine Marsh wrote.
“Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos started off his chat with the former second lady by asking which of her grandchildren helped arrange the celebratory balloons and confetti used during Tuesday’s DNC.
Stephanopoulos then asked questions about how the Bidens were feeling when Joe officially became the Democratic nominee, how she would feel about returning to teach in a classroom amid the coronavirus pandemic and if she’s wanted to punch a bully at any point during the campaign.
“I think my punching days are over,” Biden said after chuckling at the question, which was a reference to a story about her defending her sister against a bully.
Stephanopoulos then pivoted to attack ads regarding Joe Biden’s health and fitness for office, asking how she feels about them.
“You know, George, I see Joe every single day and he’s writing speeches, he’s being briefed, he’s making phone calls, he’s on the Zoom constantly, he’s doing fundraisers, I mean, we go from 9 in the morning to, gosh, 10-11 at night because we have to hit the people on the West Coast as well,” Biden said. “So, I don’t see any of that. Joe is totally engaged and… he loves it.”
The spot asks, “Did something happen to Joe Biden?” and it cuts between clips of then-Vice President Biden from 2015 and 2016 speaking clearly and energetically and video of Biden stumbling and appearing to lose his train of thought during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Stephanopoulos smiled as he said, “He’s been at it for an awfully long time, no question about that,” without asking about any recent news-making gaffes made by the Democratic nominee that the Trump campaign singled out.
The ABC News anchor then asked Biden – who received widespread praise for her speech – what she looks most forward to and her biggest fear if her husband prevails on Election Day.
Over on CBS, Jill Biden spoke with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning,” where she was quickly asked what this moment means to her family.
“Joe has worked so hard to be in this moment, and he did run twice before, but this time we’re going to win,” she said.
King responded, “You say that with such confidence. Why?”
Biden responded by saying Americans want new leadership and her husband is the man for the job. King then told Jill Biden she gave “very touching analogies” during the DNC regarding her husband overcoming personal tragedies, uniting his family and now uniting the country.
King then pivoted, asking Jill Biden her thoughts on Michelle Obama’s DNC speech and if schools should reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. The “CBS This Morning” co-host made sure to note that Obama’s speech was “heartfelt” and that “students love” Biden before she was able to answer the questions.
“If you become first lady of this country, what do you have to do? What are you thinking?” King asked. “Will you continue teaching?”
Biden quickly said, “Yes” and King responded, “In the classroom? You’ll go every day?”
Biden declared that she is a teacher and will continue to teach even if her husband is the president.
Then came the toughest question Jill Biden received on Wednesday morning, when King asked how she was able to overlook running mate Kamala Harris’ attack on her husband during a Democratic primary debate.
“How did you get past that? Because the thinking is he would not have picked Kamala Harris had you not signed off on it,” King asked.
Biden shot back, “Joe really admires strong women,” and Harris’ debate performance proved she’s “fierce” and a great addition to the ticket.
“When Joe chose a woman and chose Kamala, I was really excited,” she said. “I think it’s a great ticket.”
Much like Stephanopoulos did, King then asked about President Trump questioning Biden’s cognitive skills and fitness for office without mentioning the news-making gaffes that prompted the Trump campaign to question those things in the first place.
Jill Biden gave a similar answer, noting that her husband is working hard, regularly taking calls and “on the Zoom,” so there is “no question” about his mental health.
“Joe is busy every minute of the day,” she said.
King wrapped up the chat by asking how she plans to connect with voters when she can’t go out and meet them face to face because of coronavirus and why her grandchildren consider her a prankster.
“What do you want us to know about you, Jill Biden, as a grandmother?” King asked.
Marsh summed up the interview by noting, “King on CBS was also sympathetic about Biden facing scrutiny. She asked about how Biden ‘got past’ the ‘unfair attacks’ from the primary debates to choose Kamala Harris as his VP, before inviting Biden to shoot down Trump’s questions about her husband’s mental acuity.”
Meanwhile, NBC’s “Today” co-anchor Savannah Guthrie kicked off her version of the interview by asking if Biden was able to get her message across while giving a DNC speech in an empty classroom without adoring fans in the audience.
Guthrie then asked about the postmaster general’s recent announcement that planned U.S. Postal Service operational changes sparking fears of delayed mail deliveries will be postponed until after the election.
“Do you worry about the election, the fairness of the election, voting?” Guthrie asked, allowing Jill Biden to praise House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., for attempting to “fix” the situation.
Much like Stephanopoulos and King, Guthrie then pointed out that Biden is an educator and asked her thoughts on schools opening. Guthrie then asked about Harris being chosen as a running mate, asking if it was tough to overcome her attacks during the primary debate.
“It was a debate and we moved on from there, we’ve come together. We united, we hope to unite the country,” Biden said. ”I think it’s really turned into something quite positive.”
Guthrie then asked essentially the same question that Stephanopoulos and King did, noting Trump’s campaign has questioned the former vice president’s cognitive ability. “Is that a fair attack?” Guthrie asked.
Biden essentially gave the same answer all three times she was asked the question, while none of the morning show anchors noted the specific things that the Trump campaign has used against her husband.
“Guthrie teed up Biden to decry how unfair questioning her husband’s cognitive abilities was,” Marsh wrote.
The trio of interviews also resulted in questions about why Jill was appearing on the shows instead of her husband, who has taken significantly fewer questions from the press than President Trump in recent weeks.
Trump has taken 555 more questions from reporters than Biden since mid-July as pressure mounts for the former vice president to face the media, according to a new study.
“A review of interviews, transcripts, and videos shows that since mid-July, Trump has taken 635 questions from the media and Biden just 80, an 8-1 divide,” Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard wrote Monday in a piece headlined, “Clammed up: Trump takes 700% more questions than Biden in one month.”
Fox News’ Evie Fordham and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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