President Biden exhibited signs of his age during a campaign reception in Manhattan on Wednesday by repeating statements about the 2017 Charlottesville riot and his choice to run for president in 2020, with both statements being very similar and made within a short time frame.
On August 11, 2017, white supremacists and neo-Nazis came to the city and clashes continued into the following day. At a gathering hosted by real estate heiress Amy Goldman Fowler, Biden, who is 80 years old, shared how he was enjoying retirement after serving two terms as Barack Obama's vice president when the events in Charlottesville, Virginia occurred in August 2017.
Yet Another Biden Gaffe
"You remember those folks walking out of the fields literally carrying torches, with Nazi swastikas, holding them forward, singing the same vicious, antisemitic bile — the same exact bile — bile that was sung in — in Germany in the early '30s. And a young woman was killed. A young woman was killed."
Biden continued, "The former guy [then-President Donald Trump] was asked, 'What do you think would happen?'" according to an official White House transcript "He was the sitting president. And he said, 'I thought there were some very fine people on both sides.' And I mean this sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, that's when I decided I — I was going to run again."
After the president shared how his extended family encouraged him to challenge Trump, he proceeded to recount the same story once more.
"You know, you may remember that, you know, those folks from Charlottesville, as they came out of the fields and carrying those swastikas, and remember the ones with the torches and the Ku — accompanied by the Ku Klux Klan. And in addition to that, they had — there were white supremacists. Anyway, they were making the big case about how terrible this was. And a young woman was killed in the process.
"And my predecessor, as I said, was asked what he thought. He said, 'There are some very fine people on both sides.' Well, that kept ringing in my head.
"And so, I couldn't, quite frankly, remain silent any longer," Biden concluded. "So, I decided I would run. And it became — I ran because I thought everything this country stood for was up for grabs for the first time in my career."
Raising Questions on Cognitive Ability Again
Repeating sentences, phrases, and stories is recognized by medical experts as a common behavior in the elderly and could potentially indicate early signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
President Biden has faced instances of stumbling during public statements, and his allies often attribute these incidents to a chronic stutter. Nevertheless, some instances have raised concerns and accusations suggesting that the president may not be fully cognitively fit for a second four-year term in office.
In specific instances, such as in July, President Biden was seen looking at notecards on his lap while welcoming Israeli President Isaac Herzog to the Oval Office, instead of making direct eye contact.
Moreover, in September last year, there was an incident where Biden asked Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) to stand and be recognized during an event, seemingly forgetting that Walorski had tragically died in a car crash the month before, even though he had issued a statement marking her passing.
In a recently published book about Biden's time in the White House, author Franklin Foer disclosed that the president experiences challenges in quickly recalling people's names and has privately admitted to feeling fatigued at times.