Biden campaign co-chair fires back at speculation on the president’s mental capacity

U.S. President Joe Biden gestures as he delivers remarks at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 8, 2024. 

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

President Joe Biden’s campaign national co-chair Mitch Landrieu on Sunday fired back at concerns raised by Special Counsel Robert Hur surrounding Biden’s alleged mental deterioration.

“They’re not even close to being the same cases,” Landrieu said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” responding to comparisons between Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and Biden’s respective investigations surrounding the mishandling of classified documents.

“But that’s not what the most egregious thing is about this report,” Landrieu continued. “It is this ad hominem attack that questioned the president’s capacity … I’ve known [Biden] for 30 years. I have met with him personally, I’ve met with him with two people, five people, 10 people. I have been on trips with him crisscrossing the country, rebuilding America based on this incredible infrastructure bill that was passed. And I’m telling you, this guy’s tough. He’s smart.”

The comments follow Special Counsel Robert Hur’s investigation into possible mishandling of U.S. classified documents that could have endangered national security. Classified documents were kept by Biden in the garage of his Delaware residence after the conclusion of his second term as vice president in 2017, the report noted. Ultimately, while the report maintained the risks raised by the storage of national documents in Biden’s residence, the president did not commit any criminal wrongdoing, the report concluded.

The report went a step further in citing the president’s allegedly “poor memory,” which Biden denied in a national address last week.

“My memory has not gotten worse,” Biden said in the televised address, just hours after Hur’s report was released. “…I’m an elderly man, and I know what the hell I’m doing.”

The national address reignited efforts in Washington to possibly change the top of the Democratic ticket as voters have become increasingly concerned about Biden’s age, recent polling has indicated.

Landrieu also fired back at efforts to change the Democratic ticket, citing Biden’s resilience throughout his career.

“Biden’s accomplishments have been second to none,” Landrieu said. “The one thing Biden is never going to do — count on this — he is never going to quit.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made similar remarks on “Meet the Press” Sunday, citing his personal experiences working with Biden.

“I have met with the president many times over the course of the past three years,” Mayorkas said. “I prepare intensely for those meetings … He is probing and detailed and focused on the mission.”

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