Joe Biden Tells Lester Holt He’s Done A “Deep Dive” On “About Four” Potential Supreme Court Nominees

Joe Biden Super Bowl Interview
NBC News

NBC News released the first clip from Lester Holt’s Super Bowl sit-down with Joe Biden, in which the president said he’s done a “deep dive” on “about four” potential Supreme Court nominees to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer.

A longer version of the interview, taped earlier Thursday in Culpepper, VA, will air as part of NBC’s pre-game show Sunday, continuing a tradition where the host network lands an interview with the sitting president.

“I think whomever I pick will get a vote from the Republican side for the following reason: I’m not looking to make an ideological choice here,” Biden said. “I am looking for someone that can replace Judge Breyer with the same kind of capacity that Judge Breyer had, with an open mind, who understands the Constitution, interprets it in a way that is consistent with the mainstream interpretation of the Constitution.”

Biden has said that he will announce his choice by the end of February.

Biden also told Holt that American citizens in Ukraine “should leave now,” what with the Russian buildup at the border.

“We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation and things could go crazy quickly,” Biden said.

He said that there was not a scenario where he would send troops to rescue American citizens trying to get out of the country.

“That’s a world war when Americans and Russia start shooting at one another,” he said. “We’re in a very different world than we’ve ever been.”

Additional highlights of the interview will air on Today, MSNBC, and NBC News Now. NBC Nightly News also will have further excerpts.

This was Biden’s first sit-down interview this year, but the fact that it was tied to the Super Bowl was not a surprise. Norah O’Donnell interviewed Biden last year, when CBS had rights to the big game.

The tradition of a presidential pre-game interview started in 2004, when Jim Nantz interviewed President George W. Bush. Barack Obama was interviewed in 2009 by Matt Lauer. Obama continued the tradition throughout his presidency.

Donald Trump also did pre-game sit-downs, starting with Bill O’Reilly in 2017 when Fox had the rights that year. Trump skipped the following year, 2018, when NBC had the rights, but returned the following year. In 2019 he sat down with CBS’ Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan. Trump spoke to Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interviewed that aired before the 2020 Super Bowl.

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