As a self-admitted “gaffe machine,” Joe Biden has long been known for the miscues and malapropisms that punctuate his public appearances. While more charitable observers have excused those missteps as part and parcel of a goofy “Uncle Joe” persona, others believe they are an ominous sign of a man in significant cognitive decline.
Those in the latter camp are likely to find support for their position in video footage from a Monday event at the White House in which President Biden appeared to draw a blank when attempting to introduce Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, awkwardly referring to him as “the guy who runs that outfit over there,” as Fox News reported.
The purpose of the event at which the embarrassing moment occurred was to announce the nomination of two female generals from the Air Force and the Army, respectively, to lead combatant commands – a noteworthy achievement perfectly suited to help mark International Women’s Day. Unfortunately, it was Biden’s noticeable stumble that ended up making headlines. Watch:
Whoops: Biden forgets the name of the Pentagon, as well as the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin pic.twitter.com/ZtcgHLBIAO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 8, 2021
Criticism has continued to build over the fact that Biden has yet to conduct a formal, solo press conference since taking office in January, standing in contrast to, as CNN’s Jake Tapper put it, his “15 most recent predecessors.”
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, however, is not among those shocked by Biden’s apparently intentional distance from journalists, suggesting that those closest to him are taking deliberate steps to prevent what they believe could be a disastrous performance that exposes his deepening cognitive weaknesses, as Fox News noted.
“I think his staff does not have faith that he can stand at the podium and have a press conference the way President Trump did many times,” McEnany opined, adding, “I think it’s those around him recognizing when he does speak, it doesn’t always turn out so well.”
Late last month, political commentator and radio host Dan Bongino revealed that Biden’s mental condition and, by implication, his ability to conduct live press conferences is far worse than members of the public realize, telling Sean Hannity that the president is “in real, significant trouble,” and that his cognitive state is “the worst-kept secret in the White House.”
Now that even liberal news outlets such as The Washington Post are putting pressure on Biden to finally hold a press conference, it is becoming increasingly clear that something has to give, and the president will be unable to hide away from reporters forever.