It seems as though even the likes of CNN can no longer avoid the topic around President Joe Biden’s mental fitness, with network pundits finally expressing worries – albeit delicately articulated ones – that something could be awry with the president, who’ll be turning 80 years old this year.
OutFront host Erin Burnett was discussing the topic of potential cognitive issues afflicting Biden with frequent CNN guest Van Jones, with Burnett mentioning a recent New York Times report where former Obama White House adviser David Axelrod was among the many Democrats who’ve voiced concerns that Biden may be just a little too old to have his eye on 2024.
“As David Axelrod says, and he’s come out and put his name on it, he said, ‘Look, this is a person who if they win will be closer to 90 at the end of their second term than 80, and therefore these are very fair questions.’ Joe Biden said these were fair questions the last time he was running. So, do you have these questions?”
Jones opted for an almost sort of sandwich-styled observation when responding to Burnett, claiming that when Biden “does well” when speaking, then it sounds “really well,” but when Biden “does badly,” then people “get nervous.”
“Well, I think everybody is looking very closely now. I, uh, when Biden does well – he does really well. That gun speech he gave, it was perfect. It was powerful. When he does badly – when he stumbles – you get nervous. And you wonder, is it just his stutter? Is he tired, or is something else there? So, I think people are just looking. Honestly, I think a lot of Democrats are like, ‘If this guy is ready to go, we’re behind him. But if he’s not ready to go, he should let us know.’”
Surprisingly, this isn’t the only recent instance where a CNN host was asking about just how mentally fit Biden is these days and whether he can effectively go through another election and term in office.
On June 13th, CNN’s Don Lemon asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “Does the president have the stamina, physically and mentally, do you think to continue on even after 2024?”
Jean-Pierre laughed it off when responding to Lemon, saying, “Don, you’re asking me this question – oh my gosh. He’s the president of the United States, you know, he…I can’t even keep up with him. We just got back from New Mexico. We just got back from California. That is…that is not a question we should be even asking. Just look at the work he does, look at how he’s delivering for the American public.”
Despite Jean-Pierre’s attempts to laugh off Lemon’s inquiry, the CNN host’s facial expression was pretty telling in that he wasn’t buying whatever the White House press secretary was trying to sell him in that response.