Biden turns down Super Bowl interview for the second year in a row

President Biden in his campaign headquarters on Feb. 3, 2024. Photo courtesy of Kenny Holston/The New York Times.

By Briana Leibowicz Turchiaro

Boston University News Service

President Joe Biden has turned down the Super Bowl interview for the second year in a row, a decision that is unique compared to past presidents. 

The Super Bowl is an annual event in which the championship game of the NFL is played. This year’s Super Bowl was the most watched TV program in U.S. history as 123.4 million people tuned into the game, according to the NFL. There is an increase in viewership compared to last year’s Super Bowl that about 115.1 million people watched, according to CNN.

The tradition of the Super Bowl interview dates back to 2004 with George W. Bush. Since then, the Super Bowl interview has been honored by most presidents. 

Because of the Super Bowl’s popularity, participating in an interview is an opportunity for the current president to spread a message that will be guaranteed to receive a wide viewership. Such an opportunity could be especially valuable during an election year. 

Biden’s aides have claimed that the decision to refuse the interview was because voters are tired of discussing politics, especially during the tension of an election year. However, the decision to refrain from the interview has been questioned by other Democrats. 

“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,” said James Carville, a Democratic strategist and author, on CNN’S “Smerconish.”

Turning down the Super Bowl interview will be especially important being that 2024 is an election year, and his opponent, former President Donald Trump, has been vocal about his feelings on the subject. 

“Crooked Joe Biden has just announced that he will not be doing the big Super Bowl interview. A great decision, he can’t put two sentences together,” Trump said on his Truth Social account on Feb. 5. “I WOULD BE HAPPY TO REPLACE HIM — would be ‘RATINGS GOLD!’”

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