The New York Times has once again suggested Joe Biden may be too old to run for re-election in a piece that revealed the president now ‘shuffles,’ and that staffers are fearful he may trip over wires.
Biden, 79, has experienced a decline in energy levels, with some aides alleging he ‘often shuffles’ while walking, prompting fears ‘he will trip on a wire.’ He also often stumbles over his words during public speaking events.
Staffers told the left-leaning New York Times they find themselves holding their breath during Biden’s speaking engagements to see if he makes it to the end without a blunder.
The Times’ has begun questioning Biden’s fitness for office in recent months, a marked departure from its strident support from him in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Saturday’s story is headlined: ‘At 79, Biden Is Testing the Boundaries of Age and the Presidency’ with Times reporter Peter Baker writing that the president’s ‘age has increasingly become an uncomfortable issue for him, his team and his party.’
Baker also spoke to Democratic strategists who are raising concerns that it is ‘unwise’ for Biden to seek re-election for a White House term that’ll end when he’s 86.
White House insiders say President Joe Biden (pictured June 30) remains ‘intellectually engaged’ but they also ‘quietly watch out for him,’ fearful he may injure himself or fumble his words during presidential engagements
Biden, the oldest-ever U.S. president, has been under fire over his physical and mental fitness since before he took office.
His presidency has seen several gaffes during events, including on Friday when he appeared to read speaking directions off of his teleprompter.
Last month, he fell off his bike during a ride near his beach house in Delaware and then hopped around in an effort to prove he wasn’t injured in the accident.
The Times reported that staffers cringed over the coverage the bike fall story received, and said many insisted the president remains sharp and inquisitive.
Aides allege Biden’s health is a ‘sensitive topic’ throughout the White House.
However, more than a dozen current and former senior officials and advisers ‘uniformly reported’ Biden is mentally engaged in his role as president.
They told the Times he asks ‘smart questions’ during meetings, grills his aides on points of dispute and helps them revise weak points in his speeches.
Biden recently fell off his bike during a ride near his beach house in Delaware and then hopped around in an effort to prove he wasn’t injured in the accident
But they also noted how Biden appears to look older than he did in previous years – citing his declining energy levels and increased likelihood for tripping or falling.
Falls and injuries caused by slipping are more common in adults over age 65, with many caused by the incorrect shifting of body weight, Very Well Health reported.
The CDC claims ‘falls are not a normal part of aging’ and can be prevented by reducing trip hazards and practicing balance and strength exercises.
Although several staff have expressed worry over Biden’s physical safety during public events, his team insists they have made no special accommodations for the president.
In fact, last November Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin C. O’Connor declared he was ‘a healthy, vigorous 78-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.’
His medical report revealed Biden had an atrial fibrillation, but noted it was ‘stable and asymptomatic.’ His ‘ambulatory gait is perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago,’ the report stated, adding how gastroesophageal reflux causes him to cough and clear his throat frequently.
Critics have slammed Biden as a five-and-a-half-day-a-week president, noting how he stays out of the public view at night and has participated in ‘fewer than half as many news conferences or interviews’ than his recent predecessors. He also often spends his weekends away from Pennsylvania Avenue.
Donald Trump, 76, faced similar questions about his age and health during his single-term in office, and will likely face a further onslaught of rumor and innuendo if he choses to run for office again in 2024.
The White House disputed the allegation that Biden takes days off from his position.
‘President Biden works every day and because chief executives can perform their duties from anywhere in the world, it has long been common for them to spend weekends away from the White House,’ Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said.
His staffers say his schedule is packed at the direction of the president himself.
Deputy Chief of Staff Jennifer O’Malley Dillon told the newspaper: ‘He’s driving additions to his schedule all the time, whether it’s new CEO calls or night meetings with members.’
Biden was met with criticism for skipping out on a few evening festivities with other world leaders during his recent trip to Madrid for a NATO summit, but his staff alleges he was busy and ‘stayed up working late each night of the trip out of view.’
CONCERNS OVER GAFFE-PRONE JOE’S HEALTH
BROKEN FOOT PLAYING WITH DOG AND TUMBLE BOARDING AIR FORCE ONE
Biden was walking in a boot after breaking his foot while playing with his dog, Major, in November 2020.
His physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement at the time that he would likely be required to wear a bootie for several weeks.
However Biden’s recovery appeared to go well, and he was soon spotted in public without the boot on.
The president was then filmed falling three times as he boarded Air Force One on March 2021.
The president’s fall was blamed on a ‘breeze,’ and he did not suffer any injuries.
HIGH CHOLESTEROL AND IRREGULAR HEARTBEAT
In December 2019, there were concerns over Biden’s health, in particular leading up to the 2020 election.
He released medical records which showed he has an irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol, but which described him as a ‘healthy, vigorous 77-year-old.’
Some experts questioned whether or not he was as healthy as he claimed.
SLIPS OF THE TONGUE AND FEARS OF MEMORY LOSS
Days before the election, he became confused when introducing is granddaughter Natalie at an event, and instead referred to her as ‘my son Beau’.
Beau Biden died in 2015 after battling a brain tumor.
He has mistakenly referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘president’ and incorrectly told US troops that they were going to Ukraine.
Last month, the president was pictured extending his hand for a handshake from nobody during a speech in North Carolina where he wandered off stage.
Despite the apparent bill of good health from his physician and testimony from his team, analysts remain concerned about Biden’s re-election plans.
‘I don’t feel it’s inappropriate to seek that office after you’re 80 or in your 80s,’ said David Gergen, who served as a top adviser to four presidents. ‘I have just turned 80 and I have found over the last two or three years I think it would have been unwise for me to try to run any organization.’
He added: ‘You’re not quite as sharp as you once were.’
‘You can’t sugarcoat aging. Things go wrong as we get older and the risks rise the older we get,’ echoed University of Illinois Chicago longevity specialist S. Jay Olshansky, adding: ‘Right now, there’s no evidence that the age of Biden should matter one ounce.’
‘If people don’t like his policies, they don’t like what he says, that’s fine, they can vote for someone else. But it’s got nothing to do with how old he is.’
Despite concerns about his viability, Biden’s political operatives insist he will run for president again in 2024.
Cynics have questioned this, and say Biden will likely hold back on withdrawing from the 2024 race so as not to render himself a lame duck president.
His party is also struggling to find a possible successor, with Vice President Kamala Harris polling poorly among supporters.
Those familiar with Biden’s campaign allege he has been selling fellow Democrats on his re-election plan at fundraisers and other party events in recent weeks.
The insiders claim Biden will promote himself as the only Democrat who can beat former President Donald Trump, who has hinted at running again.
‘It’s basically the same argument he was making at this point in 2018 about why he thought he might have to run,’ a Democrat allegedly privy to Biden’s campaign told NBC News in late June. ‘He would just walk through every candidate.’
White House insiders claim the president will finalize his campaign plans following the November midterms and file paperwork for re-election in early 2023.
His aides also claimed he is using the midterm elections as a ‘test run for 2024,’ similar to how he used the 2018 midterms to set up his 2020 presidential bid.
‘It’s the kind of thing you can only show, not tell,’ a top White House adviser told the news outlet.
Regardless of his team’s beliefs, the 46th president continues to be under scrutiny over his wellness – a top that heavily debated since his 2020 campaign.
Many claims were lobbed at Biden by Donald Trump during their election contest, although 75-year-old Trump has himself faced claims about his own cognitive health.
‘It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who register to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so. End of quote. Repeat the line,’ the president said during a White House speech Friday.
‘Women are not without electoral…or political power.’
Posting the clip on social media, Price compared it to Will Farrell’s Ron Burgundy being unable to deviate from the script on his teleprompter despite grammatical mistakes and obvious errors.
Burgundy’s embarrassing on-air verbal incidents are a recurring gag throughout the movie.
Price posted a clip of Burgundy’s frustrated news crew and suggested the White House staffers behind-the-scenes were feeling similarly.
But White House Assistant Press Secretary Emilie Simons challenged Price’s claim that Biden made a mistake.
‘No,’ Simons wrote, adding that Biden said ‘Let me repeat that line.’
President Joe Biden was reading a quote off of his teleprompter during a Friday White House speech when the apparent gaffe occurred
Multiple people compared Biden to Will Farrell’s iconic journalist character Ron Burgundy of the film ‘Anchorman’
Last month, Biden fell off his bike during a ride near his Rehoboth Beach home.
He had come over to say hello to a crowd that had gathered near the Gordon’s Pond State Park bike trail, with people yelling ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to the president.
Upon trying to dismount the bike, his shoes caught and he fell over sideways, causing a mad scramble of Secret Service and press trying to help him up.
Gasps rang out after the fall, which saw Biden stay on the ground for roughly 10 seconds, before being helped up by several Secret Service Agents, who immediately swarmed the downed Democrat.
Moments later, Biden was glad-handing the crowd – even bringing one woman out to meet first dog Commander, who was being walked nearby.
Despite the tumble, the president did not appear to suffer any abrasions or cuts from the spill and the White House said he didn’t need to see a doctor after the incident.
Biden himself told reporters: ‘I’m good’ after the tumble.
Joe Biden fell off his bike during ride near his Rehoboth Beach home in Delaware on June 18, as he and his wife celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary
Gasps rang out after the president unexpectedly fell on June 18 as he was trying to dismount his bike to chat with a crowd who had gathered along a Rehoboth Beach bike path
Biden took the solo bike ride, surrounded by agents, on June 18 near his Rehoboth Beach home
After about 10 seconds on the concrete, Biden was able to hoist himself up with help from his security detail – yielding a round of applause from the onlookers
Biden, the US oldest-ever president, is pictured sitting on the pavement after the fall, which transpired around 9:30 am on June 18, caught up in the bike’s frame
President Joe Biden hopped out of church later on June 18 to prove he wasn’t injured after falling over on his bike during a ride near his Rehoboth Beach home earlier in the morning
In April, while finishing a speech about the nation’s ongoing supply chain crisis, Biden turned around and stuck his hand out as if to shake hands and then turned his back on the main audience before wandering off stage.
The 79-year-old president had earlier claimed that he had served as a ‘full professor’ at the University of Pennsylvania despite never teaching a class at the school, in yet another gaffe that has Republicans questioning Biden’s cognitive abilities.
During his State of the Union address in March, Biden had a gaffe during his speech amid the crisis in Ukraine, confusing the nation facing invasion with Iran.
In February, more than three dozen House Republicans demanded Biden submit to a cognitive test and outlined their concerns about his fitness for office in a searing letter.
Former White House physician Rep. Ronny Jackson had also penned a similar letter in June 2021 that did not appear to receive a public reply from Biden’s team.
FORGETTING NUMBERS, CONFUSING LIBYA AND SYRIA, CALLING KAMALA ‘PRESIDENT’ AND HOT MIC BLUNDERS: BIDEN’S GAFFES THAT HAVE RAISED HEALTH CONCERNS
As the oldest person ever sworn in to the White House, President Joe Biden has faced questions and concerns over his mental as well as physical acuity since taking one one of the most stressful jobs in the world.
But aside from his advanced age, Biden, 79, has worried even supporters with numerous gaffes over the year he’s been in office.
Most recently, Rep. Ronny Jackson pointed out in a letter demanding Biden take a cognitive test that one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is erratic changes in mood or personality.
January 24, 2022 – Biden calls Peter Doocy a ‘stupid son of a b*****’
‘You displayed this type of mood change during a cabinet meeting on when you apparently did not know your microphone was on after finishing your opening remarks, and you called a White House reporter a “stupid son of a b****”in response to a question asked on inflation,’ Jackson claimed.
He was referring to a hot mic moment in late January during which Biden criticized Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, after which the president personally apologized to the journalist.
Biden has also been known to have trouble with the names of his most senior officials, foreign leaders and even countries.
At last year’s G7 in June, the president bungled the names of Syria and Libya multiple times when discussing security efforts with Russia. The White House was later forced to issue a clarification.
Another embarrassing foreign policy faux pas occurred in September 2021, when Biden appeared to forget the name of Australia’s prime minister — who was appearing via video link right beside him.
While announcing a historic security deal between the UK, US and Australia, Biden told Britain’s Boris Johnson, ‘Thank you, Boris,’ before turning to Australia’s Scott Morrison and saying: ‘And I want to thank that fella down under. Thank you very much pal.’
Biden has seemingly even struggled with names of people he speaks to more regularly. He gave a speech marking International Women’s Day in March of last year, during which he was promoting two female officers to four-star generals.
March 8, 2022 – Slipping and forgetting Lloyd Austin’s name
The president slipped up during the March 8 speech while trying to remember Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s name.
‘I want to thank Sec-, the former general, I keep calling him “General.” My – the guy who runs that outfit over there,’ Biden said, before quickly adding, ‘I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done.’
A trip to Texas that same month to visit a Houston-area vaccination center saw Biden apparently lose his train of thought and become confused. He even asked, ‘What am I doing here?’ while trying to get himself back on track.
On multiple occasions Biden has also appeared to refer to Vice President Kamala Harris as the ‘president.’ During a commencement speech at South Carolina State University in late December, Biden remarked: ‘Of course, President Harris is a proud Howard alum.’
He made the mistake again more recently, declaring during a voting rights speech in Georgia on January 11 that ‘President Harris and I stood on the United States Capitol.’
Biden has been known to get dates confused as well — in May 2021 he recalled traveling via Amtrak to see his mother while he was vice president in 2013. But his mother had died in 2010.
The apparent issues began long before Biden took the White House. When he was on the campaign trail in September 2020, then-candidate Biden was widely mocked for saying ‘200 million people have died’ from COVID-19 under Donald Trump’s watch. The number was around 200,000 at the time.
And while president, Biden had to be corrected on a statistic regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. During a COVID-19 White House press conference, Biden attempted to say, ’57… excuse me… 570… I don’t want to read it, I’m not sure I got the right number…’ Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci aided him to say the figure was ’57 million.’
Confusing Libya and Syria
‘I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in — for example, in — in Libya,’ the president said, mentioning the north African country for the third time instead of Syria, in the Middle East. Biden is pictured in Cornwall, United Kingdom on June 13
The White House later brushed the confusion off, confirming that it was indeed, Syria, the country where Russia and the US have been involved in a decade-long civil war, which the president was referring to
Biden repeatedly confused Syria with Libya while discussing ways of working with Russia during a press conference at the G7 on June 13.
The 78-year-old gaffe machine spoke of working with Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide economic assistance to the people of Libya, prompting some confused glances from the press pack at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.
‘I’m hopeful that we can find an accommodation where we can save the lives of people in — for example, in — in Libya,’ the president said, mentioning the north African country for the third time instead of Syria, which is in the Middle East. The White House later brushed the confusion off, confirming that the president was indeed referring to Syria, the country where Russia and the US have been involved in a decade-long civil war.
Tripping while climbing the Air Force One stairs
Over the years, President Joe Biden has made numerous gaffes and mix-ups and has even been caught falling. Pictured: Biden falling while walking up the stairs of Air Force One on March 19
On March 19, he was caught tripping up the stairs as he boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews
On March 19, video captured Biden tripping up the stairs as he boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews.
In the clip, Biden stumbles as he walks up the airstairs. He grabs the hand railing to catch his balance, but then loses his footing two additional times.
During the third stumble, he falls to his knees. However, after brushing off his leg, he reaches the top of the plane and gives a salute before disappearing inside.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre later told reporters that Biden was ‘100 percent fine’ and preparing for his trip in Atlanta.
‘It’s pretty windy outside. It’s very windy. I almost fell coming up the steps myself,’ she said.
Just one day earlier, during a press conference on March 18 (pictured), he referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘President Harris’
Just one day earlier, Biden accidentally referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as ‘President Harris.’
The gaffe occurred during a press conference on March 18, during which he lauded his administration for being close to meeting their goal of 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.
‘Now when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that, on that tour injecting people, giving vaccinations, said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope,’ Biden said.
Harris was standing behind Biden as the president carried on with his speech, but did not correct himself.
Later that day, when the White House released the transcript of his speech, Harris’s proper title was inserted with brackets.
On March 9, while making a speech, Biden seemed to forget the name of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (above)
In a speech on March 9, Biden seemed to fumble with his words and forget the name of his Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
‘I want to thank Sec – the former general – I keep calling him “General,”‘ Biden said.
‘My – the guy who runs that outfit over there. I want to make sure we thank the Secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we’ve just talked about, and for recommending these two women for promotion.’ The slip-occurred despite the fact that just a few minutes earlier, he had mentioned Austin’s name in the speech without an issue.
On Election Day, in November, Biden introduced a crowd to his granddaughter, but referred to her as his son
During an Election Day speech in Philadelphia, Biden stumbled over his words and confused his granddaughter with his late son, Beau Biden.
Biden told the crowd: ‘I want to introduce you to two of my granddaughters…this is my son, Beau Biden who a lot of you helped elect to the Senate in Delaware.’
The commander-in-chief had meant to introduce the crowed to Natalie, Beau’s daughter, but hadn’t just mixed up the name but the person – he also put his arm around Finnegan Biden, Hunter’s daughter.
He finally corrected himself as he draped his arm around Natalie’s shoulder and said: ‘This is Natalie, this is Beau’s daughter.’
Beau Biden passed away in 2015 after a months-long battle with glioblastoma, one of the deadliest types of brain cancer.
TOLD STATE SENATOR IN WHEELCHAIR TO STAND UP
In 2008, Biden told then-Missouri state senator Chuck Graham to stand up for the crowd at a rally, before realizing he was in a wheelchair
Not all of Biden’s gaffes occurred in the 2020s or even the 2010s. In fact, some happened in the early aughts.
In September 2008, after Biden had been named former President Barack Obama’s running mate, he attended a campaign rally in Missouri.
It was there that he called on then-Missouri state senator Chuck Graham, who passed away last year. to stand up for the crowd.
‘I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up Chuck, let ’em see you,’ Biden said.
It was at that moment he realized Graham was in a wheelchair due to muscular dystrophy.
‘Oh, God love you. What am I talking about. I’ll tell you what, you’re making everybody else stand up, though, pal.’
According to the Columbia Tribune, Graham said he was never offended by the mistake.