Jun 4, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"I did it": Biden demands credit for foreign policy, domestic achievements

President Biden at the White House on May 2024.

President Biden at the White House on May 2024. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden said in an extensive interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday he deserves more credit for domestic and foreign policy gains throughout his administration.

Why it matters: Biden's appeal for recognition in the interview comes five months before the 2024 election and as recent polls show him either tying with or slightly trailing former President Trump.

What they're saying: On the foreign stage, Biden said the U.S. and NATO are "considerably stronger" than they were before he took office.

  • "We are—we have, compared to the rest of the world, we have put together the strongest alliance in the history of the world, number one. Number two, we're in a situation where we are able to move in a way that recognizes how much the world has changed and still lead the world."
  • "I did it. I did it," Biden said. "And we're now the strongest nation. We have the strongest alliance in all of America, all of history."

Zoom out: Biden boasted about helping to organize military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine in response to Russia's unprovoked invasion and took credit for NATO's recent expansion.

  • He said he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a 2021 summit that Moscow would not get the "Finlandization" — or neutralization — of NATO that it had sought.
  • "I told him, he's gonna get not the Finlandization, the Natoization of Finland. And everybody thought, including you guys, thought I was crazy," Biden said, taking credit for NATO extending membership to Finland.

Biden, too, highlighted his "incredibly broad" foreign policy strategy in the Indo-Pacific, saying it includes rapprochement between Japan and South Korea, Japan's plans to increase its defense spending, AUKUS with Great Britain and Australia and agreements between Japan and the Philippines.

  • "We are much stronger in the Pacific than we ever were before," the president said. "China, by the way, China is very concerned about it."

Zoom in: When asked about concerns over his age, Biden countered by highlighting his domestic achievements, specifically the $1.2-trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in 2021.

  • "Watch me. Look, name me a president that's gotten as much done as I've gotten done in my first three and a half years," he said, "When all of you wrote in Time magazine I couldn't get any of it done."

Between the lines: Biden incorrectly took credit for putting together the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.

  • It was started in 2004 but was largely inactive until 2017 and only held its first in-person summit at the White House in September 2021.

The big picture: If he's reelected, Biden said he will "finish what I started in the first term," adding that the choices the U.S. makes in the coming years will determine the future of billions of people around the world.

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