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Joe Biden promised in an interview with CNN that he will be "totally transparent" about all facets of his health if elected president.

Why it matters: Biden, who will be 78 in November, would be the oldest president in U.S. history. The Trump campaign has sought to cast doubt on Biden's mental faculties and physical fitness for office — attacks that the former vice president has frequently laughed off.

Driving the news: Biden's pledge also follows new reporting in New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt's book that claims that Vice President Mike Pence was told to be on standby to assume the powers of the presidency if President Trump was put under anesthesia during his sudden visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last November.

  • The White House has never fully explained the visit. Trump asked the White House physician earlier this month to release a statement saying that he "has not experienced nor been evaluated for" a stroke or mini-stroke, in response to "recent public comments regarding his health."

What they're saying: "Yes. When it occurs, anything occurs — anything can happen," Biden said when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper whether he would pledge complete and urgent transparency.

  • "I laid out my health records in more detail, pages and pages of it when I became vice president. Everything, my entire background relating to my health," he continued.
  • "And thank God I am in good health. But here's the deal. Anything can happen. I've become a great respecter of fate, a great respecter of fate. I've seen too much of it in my family related to accidents alone. I guarantee you, I will be totally transparent in terms of my health and all aspects of my health."
  • "And when it comes to Donald Trump versus me, just look at us. Who seems to be in shape? Who's able to move around?" Biden added with a laugh.

The big picture: At the end of his answer, Biden concluded, "And one more thing I'll do — I'll take responsibility. I'll acknowledge my mistakes when I make them. And I'll level with the American people."

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden's China plan: Bring allies

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Joe Biden is planning to confront China across the globe, embracing some of President Trump's goals but rejecting his means.

The big picture: By starting a trade war with China, Trump has fundamentally altered the U.S.- China relationship — and forced both Republicans and Democrats to accept a more confrontational approach towards Beijing.

Oct 28, 2020 - Podcasts

Pete Buttigieg talks Joe Biden's economic plans

Joe Biden has a very different prescription for America's economy than does President Trump. Not just in terms of how to tax and spend, but also in how to approach trading partners like China.

Axios Re:Cap digs into Biden's economic policies and philosophies with former presidential candidate and current Biden campaign surrogate Pete Buttigieg.

"You lied to us": CNN anchor confronts "anonymous" author for previous denial

Former Homeland Security official Miles Taylor on Wednesday defended his August denial that he authored an anonymous New York Times editorial that described a "resistance" within the Trump administration — an article he now claims to have written.

The state of play: Taylor said Wednesday he refuted having written the op-ed because he wanted President Trump to challenge the claims in his book "on their merits," rather than launching personal attacks on him.