President Joe Biden: The 2022 60 Minutes Interview

September 19, 2022

Summer season was going so nicely for the president; the White Home threw a celebration final week with a live performance by James Taylor. Mr. Biden’s streak started in June when he signed a bipartisan gun security regulation. Then, in August, over Republican objections, he signed the most important funding ever on local weather change, a minimal tax on companies, a regulation to decrease prescription drug costs, and pupil mortgage forgiveness. However Tuesday, as James Taylor sang “Hearth and Rain,” it appeared like each descended on the president’s get together. The Dow plummeted almost 1,300 factors after a dismal inflation report. On the White Home on Thursday, we spoke to President Biden concerning the economic system, Ukraine, these prime secret paperwork in Donald Trump’s residence and whether or not Mr. Biden will run once more. The president made information and can ignite a number of controversies.

Scott Pelley: Mr. President, as you realize, final Tuesday the annual inflation charge got here in at 8.3%. The inventory market nosedived. Persons are shocked by their grocery payments. What are you able to do higher and quicker?

President Joe Biden: Properly, to start with, let’s put this in perspective. Inflation charge month to month was just– simply an inch, hardly in any respect, 

Scott Pelley: You are not arguing that 8.3% is nice information.

President Joe Biden: No, I am not saying it’s excellent news. However it was 8.2% or– 8.2% earlier than. I imply, it is not– you are ac– we act– make it sound like swiftly, “My god, it went to eight.2%.” It has been–

Scott Pelley: It is the best inflation charge, Mr. President, in 40 years.

President Joe Biden: I obtained that. However guess what we’re. We’re ready the place, for the final a number of months, it hasn’t spiked. It has simply barely– it has been mainly even. And within the meantime, we created all these jobs and– and prices– have– have gone up, however they’ve come down for vitality. The actual fact is that we have created 10 million new jobs. We’re in– since we got here to workplace. We’re in a scenario the place the– the unemployment charge is about 3.7%. one of many lowest in historical past. We’re in a scenario the place manufacturing is coming again to the USA in an enormous means. And look down the street, we now have mas– large investments being made in pc chips and– and employment. So, I– look, it is a course of. It is a course of.

Scott Pelley: Is the economic system going to worsen earlier than it will get higher?

President Joe Biden: No. I do not assume so. We hope we are able to have what they are saying, “a delicate touchdown,” a transition to a spot the place we do not lose the positive factors that I ran to make within the first place for middle-class of us, with the ability to generate good-paying jobs and– growth. And on the identical time– guarantee that we– we are– are in a position to proceed to develop.

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Scott Pelley: And you’d inform the American people who inflation goes to proceed to say no?

President Joe Biden: No, I am telling the American people who we’re gonna get management of inflation. And their prescription drug costs are gonna be a hell of a lotta decrease. Their well being care prices are gonna be loads decrease. Their fundamental prices for everyone, their vitality costs are gonna be decrease. They’re gonna be in a scenario the place they start to realize management once more.  I am– extra optimistic than I have been in a very long time.

Scott Pelley: Sir, with the Federal Reserve quickly elevating rates of interest, what are you able to do to forestall a recession?

President Joe Biden: Proceed to develop the economic system. And we’re rising the economic system. It is rising in– in a means that it hasn’t in years and years.

Scott Pelley: How so?

President Joe Biden: We’re rising total new industries. 600 and ninety-five, I believe it’s, or eighty-five thousand new manufacturing jobs simply since I’ve develop into president in United States. Proceed to develop the economic system and proceed to offer hard-working individuals a break when it comes to we pay the best drug costs on the earth of any industrialized nation. Ensuring that Medicare can negotiate down these costs by the best way, we have additionally lowered the debt and lowered the deficit by $350 billion my first yr. This yr, it is gonna be over $1.5 trillion lowered the debt. So, to proceed to place individuals ready to have the ability to make an honest residing and develop, and develop, and enhance their capability to develop.

President Joe Biden and 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley tour the Detroit Auto Present

To see what he means, we went with Mr. Biden to the Detroit Auto Present final Wednesday. He celebrated his new funding of a community of charging stations for electrical autos. However the newly crowded conference heart introduced a distinct query to thoughts. 

Scott Pelley: Mr. President, first Detroit Auto Present in three years. Is the pandemic over?

President Joe Biden: The pandemic is over. We nonetheless have an issue with COVID. We’re nonetheless doing a lotta work on it. It is– however the pandemic is over. should you discover, nobody’s sporting masks. All people appears to be in fairly fine condition. And so I believe it is altering. And I believe it is a excellent instance of it.

The automobile present was a reminder that gasoline costs hit a historic excessive final June—partly as a result of Russia reduce gasoline provides in its warfare on Ukraine. 

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Scott Pelley: Mr. President, the value of gasoline is down about 26% from the $5 excessive. What are you able to do to maintain that value down whereas Vladimir Putin is throttling vitality provides?

President Joe Biden: Properly, there’s– there is a couple issues we have finished. For instance, keep in mind I obtained some criticism for releasing 1,000,000 barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. After which alongside got here the trade saying they’d produce one other million barrels a day by the spring. So, I believe we’re in comparatively fine condition.

Scott Pelley: Vladimir Putin goes to attempt to break your will on Ukraine and use vitality costs to do it.

President Joe Biden: Certain he’s. However, you realize, we, the USA, are in a lot better form than– than anybody else is, and relative to Russia significantly. However– he is been attempting that for some time. He is not gonna succeed.

However at this very second that Mr. Biden steered for the longer term, a nineteenth century type of transport threatened to wreck the economic system. A deadline for a nationwide rail strike was two days away. The White Home brokered a deal, Thursday, after a 20-hour marathon of negotiations.

President Joe Biden: One of many issues that occurs in negotiations, significantly if they have been elongated like these have, is individuals say and do issues the place they– the satisfaction will get engaged as nicely. And it is terrible laborious to again off of a few of these issues. They each sat down, in my view– they usually have been within the workplace at the moment saying, “Properly, we lastly figured it out. That is honest on either side.” And it took that point to focus. And– and the choice was simply not thinkable.

Scott Pelley: What do you imply?

President Joe Biden: If, in reality, they’d gone on a strike, the availability chains on this nation would’ve come to a screeching halt. We’d’ve seen an actual financial disaster.

60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley speaks with President Joe Biden within the Oval Workplace

The opposite disaster on the president’s desk, Ukraine, was additionally enhancing final week as Ukrainian forces recaptured about 3,000 sq. miles from the Russian invasion. 

Scott Pelley: Is Ukraine successful the warfare?

President Joe Biden: Ukraine, by way of their– the numerous assist we and our allies are giving them and the unimaginable bravery and the unimaginable willpower of the Ukrainian individuals, are usually not shedding a warfare, they usually’re making positive factors in sure areas. Profitable the warfare in Ukraine is to get Russia out of Ukraine fully and recognizing the sovereignty. they’re defeating Russia. Russia’s turning out to not be as competent and succesful as many individuals thought they have been gonna be. However successful the warfare? the injury it is doing, and the– and the residents, and the harmless persons are being killed, it is terrible laborious to depend that as successful.

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After the horrors of seven months of warfare, President Biden has known as Russian President Vladimir Putin a warfare felony. 

President Joe Biden: It has been barbaric, what he is finished. His assaults on civilian– every little thing from civilian hospitals to– to, you realize, people– old-age properties, to neighborhoods the place simply unusual individuals live–

Scott Pelley: Colleges.

President Joe Biden: –to faculties, it’s– it is simply outrageous. And– so the– the value Ukrainian persons are paying for this warfare is extraordinarily excessive. However we’re gonna stick with ’em so long as they want our assist. 

Scott Pelley: You are already north of $15 billion when it comes to these commitments. How far do you go?

President Joe Biden: So long as it takes.

Scott Pelley: Ironclad dedication?

President Joe Biden: Sure.

Scott Pelley: As Ukraine succeeds on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin is turning into embarrassed and pushed right into a nook. And I’m wondering, Mr. President, what you’d say to him if he’s contemplating utilizing chemical or tactical nuclear weapons.

President Joe Biden: Do not. Do not. Do not. You’ll change the face of warfare in contrast to something since World Conflict II.

Scott Pelley: And the results of that might be what?

President Joe Biden: I’m not going to speculate–

Scott Pelley: What would the U.S. response be?

President Joe Biden: You assume I might inform you if I knew precisely what it could be? In fact, I am not gonna inform you. It will be consequential. They will develop into extra of a pariah on the earth than they ever have been. And relying on the extent of what they do will decide what response would happen.

On the identical day we spoke to the president, Putin met with China’s chief, Xi Jinping. There’s concern that Russia’s try and pressure reunification with Ukraine may encourage China to assault the island of Taiwan. U.S. coverage since 1979 has been to acknowledge Taiwan as a part of China, however stay silent on whether or not the U.S. army would defend the democratic authorities there. That is among the many locations the place our interview runs into controversy. 

Scott Pelley: What ought to Chinese language President Xi learn about your dedication to Taiwan?

President Joe Biden: We agree with what we signed onto a very long time in the past. And that there is one China coverage, and Taiwan makes their very own judgments about their independence. We aren’t moving– we’re not encouraging their being unbiased. We’re not– that– that is their resolution.

Scott Pelley: However would U.S. Forces defend the island?

President Joe Biden: Sure, if in reality there was an unprecedented assault.

After our interview a White Home official informed us U.S. coverage has not modified. Formally, the U.S. won’t say whether or not American forces would defend Taiwan. However the commander-in-chief had a view of his personal.

Scott Pelley: So in contrast to Ukraine, to be clear, sir, U.S. Forces, U.S. women and men would defend Taiwan within the occasion of a Chinese language invasion?

President Joe Biden: Sure.


For the primary time, Mr. Biden spoke concerning the labeled paperwork that the FBI present in former President Trump’s residence. The Justice Division has opened a felony investigation. 

Scott Pelley: Have you ever been briefed, sir, on the top-secret paperwork that have been discovered at Mar-a-Lago?

President Joe Biden: No.

Scott Pelley: Nobody has come to you to warn you that vital nationwide safety secrets and techniques have been revealed by the storage of these paperwork on the former president’s residence?

President Joe Biden: I’ve not personally spoken to anybody on that– in that regard. I am positive my administration is conscious of all of that, and so is the Nationwide Safety Council. However I’ve not.

Scott Pelley: have been you notified of the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago?

President Joe Biden: No. Not forward of time. 

The FBI unfold the paperwork out on a ground to make a document of what was discovered. 

Scott Pelley: Once you noticed the {photograph} of the top-secret paperwork laid out on the ground at Mar-a-Lago, what did you assume to your self? that picture.

President Joe Biden: How that might presumably occur. How one– anybody could possibly be that irresponsible. And I assumed What knowledge was in there which will compromise sources and strategies? By that I imply names of people that helped or th– et cetera. And it just– completely irresponsible.

Scott Pelley: And you do not know what was in these paperwork?

President Joe Biden: I’ve not requested for the specifics of these paperwork as a result of I do not need to get myself in the midst of whether or not or not the Justice Division ought to transfer or not transfer on sure actions they might take. I– I agreed I might not inform them what to do and never, in reality, interact in telling them tips on how to prosecute or not.

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On the White Home final Thursday, President Biden informed us he hopes to retain management of the Home and the Senate within the midterm election in November. However given the President’s job approval ranking of round 40% that is still to be seen. For his half, Mr. Biden has mentioned he plans to run once more in 2024, however right here is one other place the place our interview could trigger controversy.

Scott Pelley: Sir, are you dedicated to operating once more, or are there sure situations that should be proper?

President Joe Biden: Look, if I have been to say to you, I am operating once more, swiftly, an entire vary of issues come into play that I’ve– necessities I’ve to alter and transfer and do.

Scott Pelley: When it comes to election legal guidelines?

President Joe Biden: When it comes to election legal guidelines. And it is a lot too early to make that type of resolution. I am an incredible respecter of destiny. And so, what I am doing is I am doing my job. I am gonna try this job. And throughout the timeframe that is smart after this subsequent election cycle right here, going into subsequent yr, make a judgment on what to do.

Scott Pelley: You say that it is a lot too early to make that call. I take it the choice has not been made in your personal head.

President Joe Biden: Look, my intention as I mentioned to start with is that I might run once more. However it’s simply an intention. However is it a agency resolution that I run once more? That continues to be to be seen.

Scott Pelley: Mr. President, you’re the oldest president ever.

President Joe Biden: Fairly fine condition, huh? 

Scott Pelley: Which results in my subsequent query. You’re extra conscious of this than anybody. Some individuals ask whether or not you might be match for the job. And while you hear that, I’m wondering what you assume.

President Joe Biden: Watch me. And ma– trustworthy to God, that is all I believe. Watch me. In the event you assume I haven’t got the vitality degree or the psychological acuity, then– then, you realize, that is one factor. It is one other factor, you simply watch and– and, you realize, maintain my schedule. Do what I am doing. I– I believe that– you know– I do not– after I sit down with our NATO allies and maintain ’em collectively, I haven’t got ’em saying, “Wait a minute, w– how– how outdated are you? What are you– what say?” You already know, I imply, it is a matter of, you realize, that outdated expression: The proof of the pudding’s within the consuming. I imply, I– I– I respect the truth that individuals would say, you realize, “You are outdated.” And– however I believe it pertains to h– how a lot vitality you’ve, and whether or not or not the job you are doing is one per what any particular person of any age would be capable of do.

Scott Pelley: How would you say your psychological focus is?

President Joe Biden: Oh, it is targeted. I would say it’s– I believe it’s– I– I have not– look, I’ve bother even mentioning, even saying to myself, my very own head, the variety of years. I no extra consider myself as being as outdated as I’m than fly. I imply, it is simply not– I have not– noticed something in phrases of– there’s not issues I do not do now that I did earlier than, whether or not it is bodily, or psychological, or the rest. 

Scott Pelley: You’ve had a string of legislative successes just lately.

President Joe Biden: How’d an outdated man try this?

Scott Pelley: However your approval ranking within the nation is nicely beneath 50%. And I’m wondering why you assume that’s. 

President Joe Biden: It is a actually troublesome time. We’re at an inflection level within the historical past of this nation. We’re gonna make selections, and we’re making selections now, which might be gonna decide what we’re gonna appear to be the subsequent ten years from now. I believe you’d agree that the impression on the psyche of the American individuals as a consequence of the pandemic is profound. Consider how that has modified every little thing. You already know, individuals’s attitudes about themselves, their households, concerning the state of the nation, concerning the state of their communities. And so there’s quite a lot of uncertainty on the market, a substantial amount of uncertainty.  And we misplaced 1,000,000 individuals. One million individuals to COVID. After I obtained in workplace, when I– I obtained elected, solely 2 million individuals had been vaccinated. I obtained 220 million– m– my level is it takes time. We have been left in a really troublesome scenario. it has been a really troublesome time. Very troublesome.

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And a troublesome life for the president. In 1972 he misplaced his spouse and daughter in a automobile accident. He misplaced his son, Beau, to most cancers in 2015 on the age of 46. And his son, Hunter, has been a lightning rod for suspicion. Hunter Biden’s former habit to crack cocaine led to a life he describes as “continuous depravity.” He has additionally acknowledged a federal investigation into his taxes. Congress investigated Hunter Biden’s job with a Ukrainian firm on the time that his father ran Ukrainian coverage within the Obama administration. A Republican investigation, nevertheless, uncovered no wrongdoing by then-Vice President Biden.

Scott Pelley: Mr. President, should you run once more, Republicans are most certainly to go after your son Hunter as soon as once more. And I’m wondering what you want to say about your son and whether or not any of his troubles have induced conflicts for you or for the USA.

President Joe Biden: I like my son, primary. He fought– an habit downside. He overcame it. He wrote about it. And no, there’s not a single factor that I’ve noticed in any respect from th– that might have an effect on me or the USA relative to my son Hunter.

Republican investigations are more likely to resume if Mr. Biden loses both the Home or the Senate, and historical past exhibits that presidents normally lose seats in Congress in a midterm election. In that case, the president’s remaining ambitions could also be past his attain.

President Joe Biden: For instance, we handed probably the most in depth gun laws in 30 years, though I am not gonna relaxation until we get assault weapons banned, which I did as soon as earlier than after I was a senator.

Scott Pelley: Assault weapons banned?

President Joe Biden: Assault– assault weapons banned. There is not any rationale. Deer aren’t operating by way of the woods sporting Kevlar vests. 

Scott Pelley: Anyone got here in and informed you about Uvalde when it occurred, and I’m wondering what you thought. 

President Joe Biden: Once more, I’ve gone to each a kind of locations. And in Uvalde, I frolicked with each sing– 4 hours. 4 hours within the ache, ache, and it is simply so, so pointless. So flawed. Who the hell m– (SIGH) do not get me going. However I met with each a kind of households and i– and– and the prolonged households for 4 hours. look, our youngsters needs to be studying tips on how to learn and write, not duck and canopy. Take into consideration that. Consider the psychological impression on these children going again to high school. We noticed it. It is flawed. It is flawed. It is not who we’re. And we have gotta cease it. We have got to cease it. And the NRA persevering with to push the sale of– assault and semiautomatic weapons is weird.

The way more modest bi-partisan gun regulation that handed this summer season could also be the most effective instance of the president’s legislative breakthroughs that nobody thought potential.

“How’d an outdated man try this?” He requested us earlier. We now have a principle. Joe Biden is among the many longest-serving politicians in Washington. If there’s much less bounce within the step than there as soon as was, if the phrases do not circulate like they used to, possibly there’s one thing to be mentioned for knowhow—5 a long time on the Hill and within the Oval. 

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Scott Pelley: Regarding politics, Mr. President, you have been elected to the Senate in 1972. You have been 29 years outdated. And in these days, it appeared that the events labored collectively to maneuver the nation ahead. And I believe many Individuals really feel that that now not occurs, and, in reality, could also be unattainable now.

President Joe Biden: Properly, I do not assume it is unattainable. However it– it– it is modified. What we do at the moment, give it some thought, it is all private assaults. It is about motive. It is not about, “I disagree with you on the– on the subject material. And secondly, I believe that– it’s– I believe it is honest to say that we have not had a president just like the final president, who has made all of it so private. I’ve had six Republican senators, I promised I would by no means say their names and I will not, come as much as me within the final two years and say, “Joe, I agree with you, but when I– if I vote this fashion it is gonna– they’re gonna major me. I am gonna lose an election.” It did not was that means. However it’s coming again a bit of bit. It is coming again.

Scott Pelley: Do you see it? It appears to me, Mr. President, that– while you were– first got here to the Senate, the opposite man had a nasty thought, and now the opposite man is a nasty man. And I do not understand how you get again to that–

President Joe Biden: Properly, I am going to inform you what, take into consideration this. I used to be in a position to get– we have been in a position to get a bipartisan $1.2 trillion bundle finished for coping with the entire query of rebuilding the nation, the roads and the highways. the very fact of the matter is we have gotten quite a lot of issues finished bipartisanly. And everyone mentioned, “We’re not gonna do something, do not let Biden have any successes,” et cetera. So it is nonetheless a solution to go, however I believe we’re making some progress. 

Scott Pelley: You’ve lived a protracted lifetime of triumph and tragedy. In November you will be 80. And I’m wondering what it’s that retains you within the enviornment.

President Joe Biden: Properly, look– I’ve had tragedies. I’ve misplaced a part of my soul after I misplaced my son Beau, I misplaced my spouse and my daughter in an accident. I consider all of the individuals who’ve gone by way of what I’ve gone by way of and much more with out what I had. I’ve had extremely supportive household. There’s so many, actually, heroes getting up every single day placing one foot in entrance of the opposite with no assist, I consistently assume what would Beau need me to do? What would– and, you realize, this will get me a great distance, this rosary.

The Hagar cartoon President Biden’s father had framed

 Catholic and religious, he retains a rosary in his pocket. And he confirmed us his different inspiration in a cartoon that his father had framed. In it, the Viking, Hagar, confronts God after a lighting strike—a blow like these endured by the president.  

President Joe Biden: And he is wanting up, and what’s he say? He says, “Why me, God?” And the subsequent scene, a voice from heaven, “Why not?” That is my dad. “Why not, Joey? Why not you? Why not– what makes you so totally different? Simply stand up.” My mother’s expression was, “Simply stand up. Stand up. Stand up.” 

Scott Pelley: And you’re feeling you’ve extra to offer.

President Joe Biden: Much more to offer. Much more to offer.

Produced by Maria Gavrilovic. Affiliate producer, Alex Ortiz. Broadcast affiliate, Michelle Karim. Edited by Sean Kelly and Warren Lustig.