In recent days, concerns about President Joe Biden's age have resurfaced among voters. However, Democrats are rallying around the president and defending his fitness for office. The release of special counsel Robert Hur's report, which highlighted Biden's memory issues, has prompted public assurances that Biden remains capable of serving as president. Democrats have criticized the report for delving into the territory of geriatric memory and have pointed out that Biden's challenger, former President Donald Trump, has also had his own lapses.
Despite recent incidents where Biden confused long-dead foreign leaders with their living counterparts, Democrats argue that voters are unlikely to be swayed by such mistakes. Former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield laughed off the incidents, stating that she doesn't believe voters would reject Biden because he mentioned the wrong names. Polling data, however, shows that voters have expressed concerns about Biden's age and his mental and physical health. A January NBC News poll revealed that 62% of voters had major concerns about Biden's fitness for a second term.
The release of Hur's report is seen as potentially damaging for Biden, as it adds new details to an existing vulnerability. Voters have also expressed a desire for new faces in politics and may not be enthusiastic about a rematch between Biden and Trump. However, it is likely that they will be faced with this choice in the November elections.
Democrats have come to Biden's defense, with Rep. Jamie Raskin criticizing Hur for making age discriminatory remarks and arguing that his role was simply to determine whether there were legal grounds for further action. Other Democrats have pointed to Biden's record, highlighting his accomplishments and his ability to negotiate with Republicans.
The White House took the report seriously enough to have Biden address it directly in an unscheduled appearance before reporters. Biden expressed frustration with Hur's note about his son Beau's death, stating that he didn't need anyone to remind him of the painful event.
Republicans, on the other hand, have seized on the report as evidence that Biden is unfit to serve as president. House Speaker Mike Johnson argued that Biden's press conference further confirmed the concerns raised in the report.
In an effort to counter the criticism, Democrats have pointed to Trump's own flubs and memory lapses, with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recently criticizing Trump for confusing her with Nancy Pelosi. The Democratic National Committee also highlighted Trump's own memory issues during his trial for sexual assault.
Overall, while concerns about Biden's age and memory issues persist, Democrats are standing behind the president and downplaying the impact of his mistakes. Republicans, however, see the report as evidence of Biden's unfitness for office. The upcoming November elections will ultimately determine how voters weigh these concerns.