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President Joe Biden hit a bump on his long road to fight back against a special counsel’s report that questioned his mental acuity.
To be precise, Biden appeared to bump his head on the frame of Marine One as he and first lady Jill Biden exited the presidential helicopter after returning to the White House from Delaware on Feb. 11, Fox News reported.
On Feb. 8, special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the president’s handling of classified documents said he would appear to a jury as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who was unable to accurately recall significant dates in his life.
The report cited that as a reason not to bring charges against Biden.
The 81-year-old president held a news conference that night to push back against doubts about his cognitive abilities — during which he called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi the president of Mexico.
Many Democrats expressed concern about Hur’s report.
The report “clears him legally and kneecaps him politically,” said Paul Begala, a former adviser to former President Bill Clinton, according to NPR.
“It’s certainly true that anything that feeds the master negative narrative is especially harmful,” Begala said.
“For [Bill] Clinton, it was cheating, for [George W.] Bush, it was ‘dumb,’ [Barack] Obama ‘elitist,’ which is why when Obama said 57 states, it didn’t hurt him. If it was Bush, it would have.”
“Obviously with Biden, it’s ‘old.’ So, this really really hurts him,” he said.
“This is terrible for Democrats. And anybody with a functioning brain knows that,” Begala said in a separate interview on CNN.
David Axelrod, a former senior adviser in the Obama White House, said the report “just amplified Biden’s greatest challenge,” according to NPR.
The challenge was highlighted by an ABC News/Ipsos poll that found 86 percent of respondents believe the president is too old to serve a second term. The poll of 528 U.S. adults has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.
Republicans have highlighted the Hur report’s findings about Biden.
Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said it wasn’t surprising.
“The American people have seen for years that he is a man with a failing memory. What this report indicates though is that you have a blatant double standard: If Joe Biden is not going to face criminal charges, then Donald Trump shouldn’t be facing criminal charges either,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley questioned the cognitive abilities of both Biden and the GOP front-runner, former President Donald Trump who is 77.
“We have to face the reality of the fact that when you get to those ages, you get diminished,” Haley said Feb. 11 on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
“These are people making decisions on our national security,” she said. “These are people making decisions on the future of our economy. We need to know they’re at the top of their game.”
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