Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington admitted Friday President Joe Biden lacked the “normal strength” for a political campaign the day after Biden held a contentious press conference.
Biden lashed out during a roughly 13-minute press conference held Thursday night about the coverage of special counsel Robert Hur’s report, which found Biden deliberately kept classified documents. Hur declined to charge Biden, describing the president as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” noting Biden reportedly had forgotten the death of his son, Beau Biden, as well as when he served as vice president.
“Look, I’m not gonna kid you on one point: It is a challenge that he is as old as he is. It is, without question,” Smith told “CNN News Central” host John Berman. “He’s fully capable of doing the job. He’s doing it well. He does not have the normal strength to go out there and campaign, you know, to do rally after rally and conversation after conversation. That’s going to be difficult on the campaign trail.”
Biden’s age and mental fitness have become issues in recent months. During Thursday’s press conference, Biden claimed that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was the president of Mexico when discussing the war in Gaza.
Biden claimed Wednesday to have spoken with former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol, even though Kohl died in 2017, three days after he claimed he spoke with former French President Francois Mitterrand, who passed away in 1996.
“President Biden may not be the best campaigner in the world. He’s doing a good job as president,” Smith said. “I’d rather have someone who’s good at the job and not great at the campaigning than the other way around.”
In September 2022, Biden asked for Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana, who was killed along with two staffers in an August 2022 motor vehicle accident, during a conference on hunger. Biden has suffered multiple falls during his term in office, including one at the Air Force Academy June 1, falling down while on his bike in June 2022 and stumblingon the steps of Air Force One on two occasions.
“It’s going to be a challenge to go out there and win that campaign,” Smith said.
Former President Donald Trump currently leads President Biden by 1.9 points in the RealClearPolling average of polls.
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