Elderly President Biden on Tuesday got a boost in the raging debate over his “diminished faculties” from two top Dem congress members — 83-year-old Rep. Nancy Pelosi and 73-year-old Sen. Chuck Schumer.
The pair of aged pols defended the 81-year-old Biden’s mental prowess despite his string of public lapses and a scathing special counsel report alleging the Democratic president has “diminished faculties” — all of which are seriously worrying a majority of voters.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) heartily rebuffed narratives about Biden’s cognitive abilities waning and brushed aside the president’s string of very public mishaps.
“I talk to President Biden regularly. Usually several times in a week. His mental acuity is great, it’s fine. It’s as good as it’s been over the years,” Schumer told reporters.
“He’s fine. All this right-wing propaganda that his mental acuity has declined is wrong,” the Democratic pol said.
Just the day before, Biden was seen with a seemingly confused look on his face pacing back and forth while King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke at the White House.
Last Thursday, special counsel Robert Hur dropped a blistering report in which he said he was declining to press charges involving alleged classified-document mishandling by Biden partly because he believed that a jury would not convict a “well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory” and “diminished faculties.”
Hur documented a series of alleged forgetfullness by Biden during their roughly five-hour interview, including over precisely when the president’s oldest son Beau died of brain cancer, adding that the president “did not remember when he was vice president.”
Biden, his allies, and lawyer Bob Bauer, who was in the room, disputed some of those claims. They also underscored that Hur was previously a Republican appointee as attorney for the district of Maryland.
But in a press conference Thursday evening to rebut the critique of his mental sharpness, Biden conflated the presidents of Egypt and Mexico during a riff on the war in Israel.
At the White House on Monday, Biden sought to make light of the political heart palpitations over his age.
“I know I don’t look like it, but I’ve been around a while,” Biden joked. “I do remember that!”
A melange of polling has pegged deep voter unease about the president’s age. Should he win a second term this November, he will be 86 at its hypothetical conclusion.
Very few Democrats have dared to publicly question Biden’s mental sharpness, but the issue looms large atop the minds of voters.
A staggering 86% of US adults believe Biden is too old for another term in an ABC News/Ipsos poll that dropped Sunday.
Rivals such as Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley have needled him on the age-old question and suggested he take an assessment to gauge his cognitive abilities.
The White House has spurned pressure for him to do so.
“The president proves every day [in] how he operates and how he thinks — by dealing with world leaders, by making difficult decisions on behalf of the American people,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Monday, quoting Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor.
“That is how Dr. O’Connor sees it, and that is how I’m going to leave it,” she said.
Biden has had two publicly released health summaries from O’Connor: in 2021 and 2023.
His allies have sought to turn the focus to his leading rival, Republican former President Donald Trump, 77, who has similarly had a string of mishaps on the campaign stump.
This includes conflating Haley with former House Speaker Pelosi and Biden with ex-President Barack Obama.
Schumer, who just scored a key victory with the passage of the roughly $95 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, also urged the House of Representatives to consider the bill when speaking with reporters Tuesday.
House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) already came out against the sweeping bill, and Schumer demurred when asked if he wants House Democrats to deploy a parliamentary procedure known as a discharge petition as a workaround.
“It’s clear that if Speaker Johnson brings this bill to the House floor, it will pass with that same bipartisan support,” Schumer said. “I call on speaker Johnson to rise to the occasion to do the right thing.”