President Joe Biden’s age and aptitude are at the top of voters’ long list of concerns, according to an NBC News survey out Tuesday. About three-quarters of American voters, “including half of Democrats,” said they have serious reservations about the 81-year-old commander-in-chief’s mental and physical health to command the Oval Office.
The president did little to assuage voters’ skepticism Thursday night at a gaffe-filled press conference delivered in response to a damning election-year report that concluded Biden was too old and feeble to face felony charges over mishandling classified documents.
On Thursday, Special Counsel Robert Hur published the conclusions of a year-long investigation wherein federal prosecutors declined to press charges in part because the president is an “elderly man with a poor memory.”
“It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him by — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness,” Hur’s team reported. For example, investigators said Biden “did not remember when he was vice president” and forgot the timeline of his son’s death, Beau, who died from brain cancer in 2015. The president has said that his son died in the Iraq War so frequently that daytime news commentators have even repeated the false claim.
Hur’s report also found Biden’s “memory appeared hazy when describing the Afghanistan debate that was once so important to him.”
The president delivered a scathing condemnation of Hur’s conclusions of the Democratic candidate’s mental acumen at Thursday’s press conference held hours after the report’s release.
“My memory’s fine,” Biden sought to reassure reporters. At the same prime-time event, Biden confused the “president of Mexico” with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi when responding to a question about the situation in Gaza.
Biden’s stumbles led New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney to call on the administration’s cabinet to determine whether the president was fit for office.
“After concluding that President Biden knowingly and willfully removed, mishandled, and disclosed classified documents repeatedly over a period of decades, Mr. Hur nevertheless recommended that charges not be brought against him,” Tenney wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland. “Special Counsel’s reasoning was alarming.”
Here are 8 Democrats who’ve defended the president’s cognitive capability.
Eric Swalwell: Biden’s Energy Puts Us ‘To Shame’
California Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell told Fox News last spring he was “absolutely not” worried about the octogenarian president’s age.
“He puts many of us to shame with his energy,” Swalwell told Fox.
Ro Khanna: White House Is Overprotective
In the same month, California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna complained the White House was overprotective of the president.
“I think he’s actually really good,” Khanna said on Fox News. “I think his staff overprotects him. I think, put him out there in a press conference. Who cares if someone makes a gaffe? Every person makes a gaffe in conversations. Let’s see the authentic President Biden.”
Tim Kaine: ‘I Appreciate Wisdom’
Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine told Fox News Biden’s age was a plus.
“As I age, I appreciate wisdom even more,” said the 65-year-old Democrat.
Marc Veasey: We’ve Had Many Great Leaders His Age
Texas Democrat Rep. Marc Veasey told Fox News he wasn’t concerned “at all” about Biden as the oldest president in American history.
“We’ve had many leaders his age that have done extraordinary things for America, and there’s no reason why he can’t accomplish just as much or more in his second term as he did in his first,” Veasey said.
Donald Norcross: ‘Can You Ask For Anymore Experience?’
New Jersey Democrat Rep. Donald Norcross told Fox News the president’s age gives the gift of experience.
“Can you ask for any more experience?” Norcross said. “Experience really counts.”
Glenn Ivey: Biden ‘Seems To Be Doing Fine’
Maryland Democrat Rep. Glenn Ivey told Fox News that President Biden “seems to be doing fine.”
Susie Lee: Biden Has ‘Proven He Can Deliver’
Nevada Democrat Rep. Susie Lee told Fox News last year Biden has “proven that he can deliver.”
Mary Peltola: Biden One Of The ‘Sharpest People’ In D.C.
In a December appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Alaska Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola described Biden’s “mental acuity” as “very, very on.”
“He’s one of the smartest, sharpest people I’ve met in D.C.,” she said.