On a fateful day in Washington, D.C., President Joe Biden was left exposed and vulnerable when a report by special prosecutor Robert Hur exonerated him of wrongdoing in the mishandling of classified documents during his time as vice president. However, Hur also took aim at Biden’s mental health, describing him as “a nice, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory” who “didn’t even remember when his son Beau died.” This revelation touched on a sensitive and explosive issue in the presidential campaign, leading Republicans to launch a full-blown attack on Biden’s cognitive abilities.
The 81-year-old Biden is the oldest person to serve as president and the oldest to run for re-election. If he succeeds in November, he will be 86 years old at the end of his term. Despite this, he has faced criticism from opponents for his sometimes stumbling over words and confused characterizations of past events. Some have even suggested that he may not be mentally fit to hold office and have invoked the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
In response to this attack, Biden attempted to control damage by going out for an impromptu press conference at the White House. However, he was seen as confused and disoriented during the event, further fueling doubts about his cognitive acuity and temperament. In an effort to assuage these fears and convince voters that his memory is fine, he stated that Hur’s report was wrong and that he had no intention of misusing classified information. However, his attempts were ultimately unsuccessful in dispelling these concerns.
According to political expert Christopher Arterton at George Washington University, it is Biden’s age that poses the greatest threat to his re-election prospects. While some Republicans have taken aim at Biden’s physical capabilities, it is his mental health that has become an even greater concern among Americans looking for stability and reasoned leadership on important issues like healthcare and foreign policy. Despite strong support from young voters who appreciate his progressive policies on issues like climate change and social justice, many older voters are hesitant to vote for a candidate who they fear may not be able to handle the demands of office due to age-related cognitive decline or other medical conditions.
As Trump prepares for another run against Biden in November 2024