A recent interview with radio host Andrea Lawful-Sanders has brought to light that President Joe Biden’s campaign provided pre-approved questions prior to her discussion with him. This revelation, shared during a CNN segment, has ignited debate over the practice’s implications.

Standard Practice or Control Tactic?

Sanders, who hosts “The Source” on WURD in Philadelphia, confirmed that she received a list of questions from Biden’s team for approval. CNN host Victor Blackwell noted that the questions in his similar interview were also pre-approved, sparking questions about the authenticity of such interactions.

“The questions were sent to me for approval. I approved them,” Sanders revealed. Blackwell confirmed that the questions focused on Biden’s accomplishments, debate performance, and messages to voters, raising concerns about the spontaneity of the interviews.

Campaign’s Explanation

Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt defended the practice, stating, “It’s not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer. These questions were relevant to news of the day – the president was asked about his debate performance as well as what he’d delivered for Black Americans. We do not condition interviews on acceptance of these questions, and hosts are always free to ask the questions they think will best inform their listeners.”

Hitt emphasized that Biden had participated in various unscripted interactions, allowing Americans to see him in spontaneous settings.

Criticism and Defense

Despite the campaign’s explanation, Blackwell expressed skepticism about the practice, questioning whether it truly demonstrated Biden’s preparedness and cognitive agility. “And the reason I ask is not a criticism of either of you, it’s just that if the White House is trying now to prove the vim, vigor, acuity of the president, I don’t know how they do that by sending questions first before the interview so that the president knows what’s coming,” Blackwell commented.

Sanders defended her approach, stressing the importance of amplifying Black voices. “When I was asked to do this interview, it was most important to me to have the voices of the Black people heard. I never once felt pressured to ask certain questions,” Sanders explained. “I chose questions that were most important to the Black and brown communities we serve in Philadelphia. Those questions proved to be exactly what Black and brown communities desired.”

Audience Reaction

Earl Ingram, another radio host who interviewed Biden and faced similar scrutiny, shared his audience’s reaction during a subsequent CNN interview. Ingram hosts “The Earl Ingram Show” on WMCS in Milwaukee and revealed that his listeners largely support Biden remaining in the race. “This morning, for 2 hours, my phone lines were completely jammed as we had the conversation and the debate on whether or not this is something that should occur. And I can tell you that the majority of the listening audience thought that we should leave it as it is and it’s a big mistake for the Democratic Party to attempt to force this on them as well as Joe Biden,” Ingram said.

Campaign’s Continued Defense

Biden’s campaign also addressed specific moments from the interviews, defending the president’s remarks and communication style. A campaign official told Fox News Digital, “If you listen to these interviews, it is abundantly clear what the president meant. This would be considered a perfectly normal speech pattern for any other person in America, and has certainly been normal for Joe Biden for his entire career.”

The practice of providing pre-approved questions, while not uncommon, continues to be a point of contention. It raises important questions about the balance between controlling a candidate’s message and ensuring genuine, unscripted interactions with the media and the public. As the election approaches, such practices will likely remain under scrutiny from both the media and the electorate.