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Biden campaign pushes back on ‘baseless lies’ about Joe Biden’s health, age
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Joe Biden’s campaign dismissed rumors about Biden’s health and age as “baseless lies.”
Biden’s press secretary T.J. Ducklo blasted Sean Hannity and Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery of Fox News for speculating about the 76-year-old presidential candidate’s physical condition. Both hosts have recently suggested that Biden is too “tired” and old to run.
“These are baseless lies meant to stoke fear in their viewers. It has no place in our public discourse, and anyone amplifying it bears some responsibility for giving it legitimacy it most certainly does not deserve,” Ducklo told the Daily Beast.
Biden campaign dismisses “lies”
Speculation about the former vice president’s health and age preceded his campaign launch in April, with many questioning whether Biden is too old to run. President Donald Trump has sought to make Biden’s perceived lack of stamina an issue for the Democrat, labeling him “Sleepy Joe.”
After an initial campaign blitz, Biden’s campaign has dialed down in pace, leading some to speculate that the Democrat is making allowances for his health. Last week, Kennedy said that Biden’s campaign might want to keep Biden “off a main stage” because he “says stupid things and slurs,” adding that Biden “looks very tired.”
Biden noticeably slurred through his first campaign speech, and he has come under scrutiny for making tin-eared comments. Biden insisted that China is not a threat, puzzling even Democrats — although he reportedly flip-flopped Tuesday — and he also turned stomachs with jokes about the allegations that he inappropriately touched women and girls.
To some, it certainly appears that Biden is running on fumes. Hannity also speculated that “Sleepy Joe” Biden is “tired,” saying, “He doesn’t have the energy for this.”
“They’re already hiding him like Hillary,” Hannity said. “They don’t want him out there.”
Biden would be the oldest president ever elected if he wins in 2020 at the age of 78. Assuming he serves two full terms, Biden wouldn’t leave office until 86 years old. Given his advanced age and health history — he suffered a nearly fatal stroke in the 1980s — some speculate that the Democrat’s time to run for the White House has passed.
Despite the speculation, Biden enjoys a comfortable lead in the Democratic primary race. While Biden stumbles and slurs his way to the nomination, his competitors have stepped up attacks on the Democrat, with rivals saying that Biden’s “centrist” views do not represent the new, more radical Democratic party.
Last week, Kennedy praised Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for comparing Biden to Hillary Clinton, although he was making a point about their similar establishment politics, rather than their health. Clinton’s public coughing fits and falls were the subject of speculation in 2016, and questions about Biden’s condition have prompted comparisons to the failed presidential candidate.
“The more damage that [comparison] does, you go, ‘You know, we haven’t seen Joe a lot, maybe he has hidden health issues,” Kennedy said last week.
“If you talk to Democrats, who are working for different campaigns, all of the aggressive gossip whisperers — and this is where the action is happening in terms of opposition research — it’s people having a few drinks at a bar and whispering, ‘You know there is something wrong with the former vice president,’” she said on May 29.
When Biden entered the race in April, Trump immediately attacked “Sleepy Joe” over his age and stamina, declaring that he felt “so vibrant, so young” by comparison.
“I am a young, vibrant man,” Trump said. “I look at Joe, I don’t know about him…I would never say anyone is too old. But they are all making me look very young both in terms of age and in terms of energy.”
The 73-year-old Trump continues to thunder against his foes with breathless rage and buoyant humor, making for a bold contrast with the doddering Biden. For his part, Trump’s extreme personality has been the subject of speculation on the left, with many liberal commentators and journalists snarkily suggesting over the last couple years that Trump is senile or mentally ill.
On Monday, Trump again attacked Biden, saying the former vice president is a “different guy” and “slower than he used to be.” Trump also labeled Biden “one percent Joe,” adding that “he’s failing.”
A recent poll in Iowa showed Biden’s still comfortable lead is slipping, as Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg close the gap. Biden penciled in a stop Tuesday in Iowa in his light campaign schedule.
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden asked friends and family to help him resolve the “dilemma” of whether he was too old to run for president before launching his campaign.
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