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President Biden won’t do a Super Bowl interview. His advisers expect sports fans to be grateful

Biden’s communications strategists think sports fans will appreciate having a politics-free day during a hectic election year

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President Joe Biden speaks during an event at the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.

President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.

Andrew Harnik, Associated Press

President Joe Biden will not grant the traditional presidential interview ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl so that sports fans can enjoy a politics-free day, his communications advisers told NBC News.

They said Biden’s refusal stemmed from their sense that voters need a break from election updates and a chance to simply enjoy some football.

“We hope viewers enjoy watching what they tuned in for — the game,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

Biden skips Super Bowl interview

CBS, which is airing this weekend’s Super Bowl, offered Biden the chance to do a 15-minute interview that would be shared in full online. The network planned to incorporate around three minutes of the conversation into the TV broadcast, according to NBC News.

When the president and his team declined, they faced pushback from within their own party. Some Democrats questioned why Biden would give up a chance to connect with millions of potential voters.

“Either he doesn’t have anything to say or his team is worried about what he might say or how he’d say it,” said a veteran Democratic campaign operative to NBC News.

Biden’s advisers claim the president will have plenty to say when the time is right.

“Biden’s aides argue he has done network interviews in the past and will do so again when they deem it best serves their messaging,” NBC News reported.

Presidential interviews before the Super Bowl

Presidential interviews became a standard part of Super Bowl weekend during former President Barack Obama’s time in office.

Obama would prerecord an interview with whichever network was broadcasting the big game — the host network changes each year — and chat about how he expected the game to go and the business of football more broadly, according to SB Nation.

Former President Donald Trump kept the tradition alive in three of his four years in office. His team, like Obama’s, embraced the chance to connect with football fans.

“The Super Bowl, typically the most-watched telecast of the year, offers an unusually large audience for a sitting president to address current events and advance his agenda to the public,” according to The New York Times.

Biden did grant interviews in 2021 and 2022, but requested changes to the tradition last year when the game was on Fox, as the Deseret News previously reported. He and his team were reportedly unhappy with the idea of sitting with Fox News hosts and offered to do an interview with the streaming service Fox Soul instead.

When Biden and his team said no to CBS this month, Trump offered to replace him.

“I WOULD BE HAPPY TO REPLACE HIM — would be ‘RATINGS GOLD!’” Trump said in a post on Truth Social.