During a campaign reception in Manhattan, President Joe Biden repeated a story almost verbatim, raising fresh concerns about his age and fitness for office.
The incident occurred at an event hosted by billionaire real estate heiress Amy Goldman Fowler, where the 80-year-old president recounted the events surrounding the 2017 Charlottesville riot and his decision to run for president in 2020, repeating the same narrative minutes apart.
Biden began by recalling the disturbing events in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, where he described the presence of individuals carrying torches and displaying Nazi swastikas. He went on to mention a young woman losing her life during the incident and criticized former President Donald Trump’s response at the time. The president’s repetition of the narrative raised eyebrows and led to questions about his cognitive state.
Concerns Over Cognitive Health
Medical experts have noted that repeating sentences, phrases, or entire stories is common in the elderly and could be an early sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. President Biden has faced challenges in public statements before, with some attributing them to a chronic stutter. However, instances like these have fueled concerns about his cognitive fitness and ability to serve a second term.
Public Perception and Poll Results
According to a recent Associated Press-NORC poll, a significant 77% of Americans believe Biden is too old to govern effectively if he were to win a second term. The president has faced other notable instances that have added to these concerns, including struggling with notecards during official meetings and having difficulty recalling names quickly. Despite the public’s concerns, President Biden has given no indication of stepping back from his 2024 run.
Concern Over Joe Biden’s Health, Trump’s Character
A recent poll published by the Wall Street Journal indicated that in a hypothetical 2024 match-up between Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the two candidates would be evenly matched, each with 46 percent support.
The survey was conducted in part by Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster, in partnership with a Democratic colleague, Michael Bocian.
While both Biden and Trump maintain their positions as front-runners within their respective parties, the poll reveals divergent challenges facing them.
President Biden’s age appears to be one of his major hurdles, with approximately 73% of voters deeming him too old for a presidential run, while only 47% hold the same view regarding Trump. A whopping 36% of voters believe Biden possesses the mental acuity required for the role, compared to 46% for Trump.
Concerns surrounding President Biden’s age stem from reported incidents of stumbling, occasional confusion regarding countries and dates, and other similar blunders.
For Trump, the challenge lies more in his character, as 38% of voters perceive him as honest, while 45% believe Biden is trustworthy. In terms of likability, 48% of voters find Biden appealing, while only 31% hold the same sentiment for Trump.
However, Trump enjoys a more favorable stance among voters when it comes to policy accomplishments, with 51% acknowledging his strong track record as president, compared to 40% for Biden.
As the 2024 presidential race looms, this credibility of President Biden and his various competitors will no doubt continue to provoke intense debate- and genuine fear.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.