President Joe Biden jumped into what one news outlet called a “last-minute press conference” Thursday evening after the release of a special counsel’s report that described him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
At the event went on, Biden, 81, apparently selected reporters from whom to take questions, instead of following a list of reporters provided to him by staff members, which, according to Fox News, is his usual process.
Some of the exchanges between the president and the journalists present became “combative,” especially when Biden called on CNN’s MJ Lee.
“Mr. President, for months when you were asked about your age, you would respond with the words, ‘Watch me,'” Lee said. “Many American people have been watching, and they have expressed concern about your age.”
A visibly annoyed Biden cut her off at that point, speaking over Lee as she attempted to finish her question.
“That is your judgment,” he said to the journalist. “That is your judgment. That is not the judgment of the press.”
“They express concerns about your mental acuity,” Lee continued, undeterred. “They say that you are too old. Mr. President, in December, you told me that you believed there are many other Democrats who could defeat [former President] Donald Trump.
“So why does it have to be you now? What is your answer to my question?” she asked.
“Because I’m the most qualified person in this country right now to be president of the United States and finish the job I started,” he replied, having apparently restored some of his calm.
Biden’s claim that “the press” didn’t consider him too old — the president didn’t explain why he was speaking about the news media, and not the American voters — was belied to some degree by other questions about his age by Fox’s Peter Doocy and, more surprisingly, The Washington Post’s Tyler Pager, who asked whether Biden expected the special counsel’s report to “fuel further concern about your age,” according to Fox.
“Only be some of you,” Biden responded.
You can watch the exchange between Lee and Biden below.
Reporter: The American people have been watching and they have expressed concerns about your age.
Biden: That is your judgment. That is your judgment. pic.twitter.com/i4ykMOuEfk
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 9, 2024
Despite Biden’s insistence that concerns about his age and ability were somehow held by only one CNN reporter, NBC News cited a recent poll that showed that 76 percent of voters — including 54 percent of Democrats — said they had either “major concerns” or “moderate concerns” about Biden’s “mental and physical health.”
Only 11 percent of those surveyed said they had “no real concern” about Biden’s fitness for the roll.
The poll showed that fewer than half of the 1,000 registered voters surveyed, 48 percent, shared similar levels of concern about the fitness of Trump, 77, to serve as the nation’s chief executive.
That was about equal to the 49 percent who had such concerns about Biden’s involvement in the “alleged wrongdoing and corruption” of his son, Hunter Biden.
“I think that [Biden’s] health and age kind of get in the way of his ability to be a good president of the United States,” said a female Democratic poll respondent from Wisconsin, who did not share her name but said she voted for Biden in 2020.
Biden will not be charged with mishandling classified government documents after his two terms as vice president, the special counsel who was investigating the case announced Thursday.
One reason Biden will not face any further scrutiny over storing sensitive materials in a garage and other locations is his “poor memory” and age, the report from special counsel Robert Hur submitted Tuesday afternoon said. The Hur report described the president as both “elderly” and potentially so senile he might not have known what he was doing was wrong when he stored the documents in unsecured places, such as his home.
That could have left Biden in front of a sympathetic jury if he was to go to trial, the report said.
However, it did say the president willfully and negligently mishandled government secrets before he was inaugurated in 2021.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.