The following is a rush transcript of Todd’s interview with Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Starnes and Hagerty discussed President Biden’s dismal performance during his first overseas trip – and whether or not the president might be having some issues with mental capabilities and stamina. Click here to listen to the full interview.
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TODD: Senator, good to have you with us. And I know you’re following these reports in real time. But what’s your estimation of how the president has fared overseas?
HAGERTY: [01:21:47] Look, the president has had a very rough go. Vice President Harris had had a rough week last week when she went to Guatemala, Mexico, and this is followed on the heels of that. Again, America last, America not speaking from a position of strength. And, you know, I think the whole G-7 was overshadowed with the other leaders wondering what Vladimir Putin might do with Joe Biden and whether Joe Biden would be able to stand up to him. This doesn’t look very good for America and certainly not for President Biden.
TODD: [01:22:15] No, it does not. And there’s just not an air of confidence. And I know people may have disagreed with President Trump on this or that, but by golly, when he was overseas, he was representing the United States of America. He was leading. And I’m not sure that Joe Biden conveyed that image in his trip overseas.
SEN. HAGERTY: [01:22:34] But I can tell you that firsthand experience, you know, my job before joining the U.S. Senate was as the U.S. ambassador to Japan. That’s the third largest economy in the world after the United States and China and a very important strategic ally for us. President Trump came and joined me in Japan three times during his tenure. And it was so clear to me and to everybody else that the world is hungry for American leadership and strength. It was absolutely necessary there. We had North Korea, Russia and China right at our doorstep. It remains necessary today. And leading from the front is where America does best. Speaking from a position of strength is where we engender engender peace. And with Joe Biden reverting back to the Obama era, all you can say is it feels a lot like leading from behind again. And this is not what the world needs right now.
TODD: [01:23:20] No. And it does make you wonder, Senator, who really is calling the shots here? I’ve noticed over the past couple of weeks the president’s been using this phrase, oh, I’m going to get in trouble if I do X, Y or Z. We know for a fact that he’s got this list. And and I know all presidents have a list of reporters to call out, but you do wonder what’s going on inside 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue?
HAGERTY: [01:23:43] Well, that concern was actually prevalent during the campaign. You know, back in 2020, people were wondering if Joe was hiding in his basement and that he was being managed so heavily and, you know, lights out early on in the day. It was amazing how this concern was manifesting itself even before the election. And I still, you know, just just very, very surprised and shocked that we have constant discussion about his mental capabilities, his stamina. It’s a great concern. And when you put a president that is in a weakened condition on a flight to go into very difficult, you know, challenging conversations and discussions with, you know, adversaries like Vladimir Putin with with countries that are our allies, that we need to be stronger. It really we need our president to be performing at his very, very best. And I don’t think that we’re getting that right now.