Questions about President Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities persist as two recent verbal missteps fuel ongoing concerns about his fitness for office. At 81, Biden faces scrutiny over his handling of high-stakes international and domestic issues while campaigning for reelection.
Biden’s reference to deceased European leaders, François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl, during recent conversations with global counterparts, underscored doubts about his cognitive sharpness.
Special counsel Robert Hur’s report examining Biden’s handling of classified information also mentioned apparent memory lapses, including forgetting when his son Beau died, and the years he served as vice president. While the White House disputes these claims, citing the timing of the interview amid ongoing crises, they acknowledge public perception remains a concern.
Polls reveal widespread apprehension among voters, including Democrats, about Biden’s physical and mental health. Many express unease despite recognizing his experience and legislative wisdom gained over decades in public service. Biden often jokes about his age but faces intensified scrutiny when he misspeaks, particularly amplified by right-wing media.
Such gaffes provide ammunition for critics, including Rep. Dean Phillips, Biden’s sole Democratic primary challenger, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Both question Biden’s fitness for office, with Haley emphasizing the age of both Biden and former President Trump.
As Biden’s campaign gears up for reelection, efforts to allay concerns include increased public appearances and self-deprecating humor. Campaign officials stress the importance of showcasing Biden’s vigor and determination, especially with Trump potentially returning as a formidable opponent.
Biden’s last physical in February 2023 deemed him healthy and fit for duty, with no evidence of cognitive decline or lingering effects from a previous COVID-19 infection.
Despite ongoing scrutiny, Biden’s team remains focused on demonstrating his capability and resilience in the face of multifaceted challenges, both at home and abroad.