Joe Biden Gets Unnerved by His Own Phone in NYT Interview: ‘What the Hell is That?’ (UPDATED)


2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to become unnerved by the sound of his own phone ringing during an interview with the New York Times this week.

“By the way, just so you know, my message isn’t that I’m going to return to the Obama era. My message is twofold. Number one, the next president of the United States, I think you’d all have to admit, is going to have to be able to do two things,” said Biden in the interview, before his phone started to ring, according to the caption “[BIDEN’S PHONE RINGS].”

“What the hell is that?” asked Biden, as New York Times deputy editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury responded, “You’re getting a call.”

“Oh,” he replied.

Editorial writer Brent Staples explained, “That’s your staff,” before Biden then continued with his statement.

“I assume I may have — they told me they wanted this to be taped. But two things. One, I think we’d all agree, is going to inherit a divided nation. And secondly, is going to inherit a world in disarray. I think it’s fair to say, what’s fair to say or not,” the former vice president proclaimed. “I believe that my experience in both those areas better equips me than anybody running in either party to deal with both those issues.”

“I have a record where I have gotten big things done. I’ve been able to work with the opposition. I’ve been able to work, not all the time, when I haven’t been able to have them join, I’ve gone out and beaten them, like we did in the 2018 election,” he continued. “What we just did recently in the off-year election.”

Read the Times editorial board’s interview with Biden — it’s part of their running series of candidate interviews ahead of announcing an endorsement in the Democratic primary — here.

UPDATE: New York Times writer-at-large Charlie Warzel claimed in a Twitter post that “the phone was his staffer’s.”

“Most staffers put a phone next to the candidate to record the interview [because] they weren’t allowed in the room,” Warzel claimed. “Biden’s staff however (lol) didn’t put it on airplane mode and he just kinda let it go off like an old in a movie theater.”

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