President Joe Biden’s fall following his speech at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has people questioning his health and fitness for office.
“There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt wrote on Twitter. “He’s fine.”
The president joked with reporters that he had been “sandbagged” because he tripped over a sandbag after he handed out diplomas to the graduating cadets.
This is not the first time the president has taken a well-publicized tumble.
Biden fell down the stairs of Air Force One in March 2021, shortly after taking office. Such public falls undergird polling that suggests most Americans think he is too old to be president.
Biden Check-up Finds Problem With Stiffened Gait
The president’s health check-up in February found that he had a problem with his gait and that he experienced stiffness in his ankles for which an orthotic was prescribed.
“What is missing is any MRI report and full cognitive testing. Many of us have repeatedly requested this,” Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor at NYU Langone Health, wrote in the New York Post. “O’Connor has mentioned Biden’s stiff-legged gait in two successive physicals and says it is getting worse — but hasn’t addressed directly a possible link between a worsening gait and a neurodegenerative process involving the frontal lobe of the brain or spinal cord or the possible buildup of fluid (normal pressure hydrocephalus), which could cause both a gait and a cognitive problem.
“But Biden did have two brain aneurysms repaired surgically in 1988, which increases the risk of long-term cognitive problems.”
Biden Allies Change the Subject
Biden’s allies were quick to dismiss the president’s physical foibles and redirect attention to his political success on the debt ceiling.
“I think Biden has a very credible record on which to run. The way they navigated the debt ceiling negotiation shows the value of experience,” David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, told Politico. “His argument about wisdom is a real argument.”
But, he continued, “This is a liability that comes with age. Incidents like these are going to be blown up. They are going to be a greater concern than it would be if he were twenty years younger. This is a burden he is going to have to overcome. This is going to be an ongoing challenge.”
Voters Think Biden is Too Old to Be President
Dilbert creator Scott Adams joked on Twitter, “New poll numbers are out and Biden would lose a national election by 35 points to a bag of sand.”
A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 62 percent to 33 percent that Biden was not healthy enough to be president.
Rasmussen similarly found last month that 73 percent of voters believe that Biden, who is 80, is too old to be president.
Trump Sympathizes With Biden
Former President Donald Trump expressed uncharacteristic sympathy with his likely 2024 rival for a second term in office.
“Well, I hope he wasn’t hurt,” Trump said, before adding: “The whole thing is crazy … You’ve got to be careful about that because you don’t want that — even if you have to tiptoe down a ramp.”
Trump personally took a dive in June 2020 when he was going down a ramp following a ceremony at West Point. He recalled that the ramp was extra slippery because of the shoes he wore to the event and the rain.
“That’s a bad place to fall,” Trump said. “That’s not inspiring.”
John Rossomando is a senior analyst for Defense Policy and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.