CBS Sports boss shuts down idea of Trump replacing Biden for Super Bowl pregame interview


Sometimes politics become a part of a sporting event and the Super Bowl has annually embraced that possibility, as networks broadcasting the NFL’s championship game have offered to interview the United States president as part of its pregame show.

This year, in keeping with a tradition ongoing since 2009 at least, CBS offered to interview President Joe Biden on its pregame show. He declined. 

Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 6, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

And it’s the second consecutive year he declined, having declined a Fox News request last year.

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Biden Not Doing Super Bowl Interview

“Yeah, simple as that,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said Tuesday afternoon. “There’s nothing more to say about it. We were prepared to do it. And the White House declined the opportunity.”

Actually, as much as McManus would like for there to be nothing more to say, he knows journalism. And journalists have follow-up questions.

And those got asked:  

Is CBS Sports disappointed about the presidential decline?

“Not disappointed,” McManus said. “I think it’s we were prepared to do it and, you know, we’re moving on to other subjects.”

Sean McManus

CBS Sports press conference on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at the Mandalay Bay for Super Bowl LVIII. (Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty Images)

So I asked if the opposing party’s presumptive candidate …

“I don’t want to get into the politics,” McManus said, interrupting. “We’re here to talk about the game.”

Trump Willing To Do CBS Interview

The game is broadcast on CBS. The network was prepared to turn over up to 15 minutes of its valuable pregame air time to its news division to interview a politician — until he declined.

“So what’s the question?” McManus said.

The question is the opposing party’s presumptive candidate – Donald Trump – has volunteered to take the now vacant interview slot.

Trump went on his Truth Social account Monday and volunteered to speak with CBS.

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CBS Not Interested In Interviewing Trump

But McManus made it clear CBS is declining.

“We’re producing a football pregame show, not a political show,” McManus said, interrupting again.

Former President Donald Trump campaigns in Las Vegas

Former President Donald Trump appears at a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas on January 27, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

So the CBS pregame show invited the President of the United States, who is a politician and a political candidate in the upcoming election.

“Correct,” McManus said.

And the other candidate is a former President of the United States and perhaps a future President of the United States. But he cannot come on, as by the way, he did when CBS broadcast the game in 2019.

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McManus: No President, No Air Time

“There’s no precedent for having any political figure other than the president give the interview,” McManus said. “Fair enough?”

Half the country probably thinks that is fair enough.

The other half probably doesn’t believe that’s fair at all. 

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