Joe Biden said he felt embarrassed in the role of president, at a town hall organized by CNN in Ohio.
“The first time I came down the stairs and they played Hail to the Chief, I said, ‘Where is he?’” He told a vaccinated crowd on Wednesday.
“You feel a little embarrassed, but I’m not shy about the power that comes with the office.”
He also took the opportunity to urge Americans to get vaccinated, after worrying about a spike in Covid cases.
He insisted the economy would thrive and the Covid pandemic was over for vaccinated Americans.
“There are legitimate questions people can ask if they are worried about being vaccinated, but the question needs to be asked, answered and people need to be vaccinated,” Biden said. “But it’s not a pandemic.”
He said prolific disinformation and conspiracy theories made it difficult and slowed down vaccinations.
At one point, he directly referred to a Qanon plot, expressing his dismay that some members of the public thought “Biden is hiding people and sucking the blood of children.”
In addition to answering questions from the public about politics, Mr. Biden spoke about life in the White House.
He said he asked White House staff not to cook breakfast for him because he likes to wear his robe and go for walks.
“I thank all the help that is there to provide meals,” he said.
The president said he first felt the real weight of the office when he visited Europe in June to attend the G7 summit and meet with world leaders.
“I was able to go to the G7 and change my mind about a whole bunch of things,” he said. “They had never included China in any criticism.”
He said the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin shed new light on the importance of this role.
“Putin knows who I am. He knows that I mean what I say, that he will do what I say. This is the first time that I feel like I am in the office as a leader of the world free.”
Mr Biden also used the evening to promote his ambitious $ 600 billion infrastructure bill.
Although Senate Republicans barred Biden’s bill from being debated on Wednesday afternoon, the president said on stage that he was confident it would still pass on Monday.
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