Up until his dominating victory in South Carolina’s Democratic Presidential Primary, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign seemed to be all but capsized. Embarrassing defeats in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada slowed the roll of the election’s front-runner, primarily brought on by less than stellar debate performances.
Although he showed some strong points in each debate, many grew concerned by Biden’s only semi-coherent ramblings that peppered his speeches. Now, after a moderate-wing unification and the ensuing drop-outs by Mike Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders, Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
The stage is all but set for a Biden and Trump showdown in November, shocking onlookers who assumed the Biden campaign was dead just over one month ago. Even though Vice President Biden has shown impressive resolve in his comeback, the concern over his cognition still remains.
Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office in January of next year, they will be the oldest president to take office in American history. Donald Trump is 73, soon to be 74, and Joe Biden is 77. If he wins, he’ll be 78 when he takes the oath. Only Ronald Reagan rivals these two — he was 69 when he took office in 1981. Until Senator Sanders dropped out, who was the oldest in the race at 79, there was growing interest over his physical health following a recent heart attack.
In an interview conducted last week on the Coronavirus response, Biden struggled to communicate his plan on how to address the pandemic. A video of the former Vice President stumbling over his words and failing to string together a coherent answer about what he would be doing differently has garnered millions of views. In addition to his unclear statements, many have cited Biden’s overt health scares, most notably when the Vice President’s eye appeared to fill with blood during a televised CNN town hall.
Conservative news outlets, Fox News and Brietbart.com, have reported on Biden’s mental health extensively. However, the concerns have not only been expressed from the right. The far-left Green Party leader, Dr. Jill Stein, has spoken out about Biden’s articulation issues.
“To Dems trying to silence any discussion about Joe Biden’s cognitive issues: what’s your plan for the general election? Do you think you can stop Trump & the GOP from making this an issue? They’re already using videos of Biden’s own speeches to argue he’s unfit for office,” Stein said in a tweet.
Biden has also taken a more aggressive stance while campaigning, engaging in combative debates with potential voters. During a campaign event in Michigan, Biden told a Detroit factory worker he was “full of sh*t” in a heated exchange about gun control. The worker accused the presidential hopeful of actively trying to end American laws allowing the ownership of firearms.
Mr. Biden took offense, responding, “I have a shotgun, I have a 20-gauge, a 12-gauge,” Biden said. “You’re not allowed to own any weapon. I’m not taking your gun away at all. You need 100 rounds?”
The official stances of the campaign are banning the sale of assault weapons, requiring background checks, as well as several other provisions that can be read about here.
This is only the most recent of several controversial exchanges the Vice President has had with inquiring voters. During another event in Iowa, a voter implicated Biden’s son in a Ukrainian corruption scandal, to which he responded, “You’re a damn liar”.
Despite these concerns, Biden maintains a solid lead over President Trump in most national polls, averaging nearly 6 points ahead of the incumbent.