© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden departs the White House in Washington, U.S., February 9, 2024. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo
By Tim Reid
(Reuters) – The mental potential and age of the United States’ presidential candidates took heart stage on the campaign trail on Saturday, following a report that prompt President Joe Biden was struggling memory lapses.
Former President Donald Trump accused each Biden, the Democrat he’ll probably face in November’s normal election, and Nikki Haley, Trump’s final remaining rival for the Republican presidential nomination, of missing the mental capacity to be president.
Haley – like Trump, campaigning in South Carolina the place the 2 will meet in a main election on Feb. 24 – went after each males, calling Trump mentally poor and saying Biden is simply too outdated to be president.
Meanwhile, the Biden White House, responding to the report on Thursday from a Department of Justice particular counsel that mentioned Biden had a poor memory, continued its full-scale assault on Trump’s age and mental acuity after Trump just lately combined up names and made different verbal gaffes.
“Every single time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he’s confused, deranged, lying, or worse,” T.J. Ducklo, a Biden spokesman, mentioned in an announcement launched by Biden’s reelection campaign.
The situation of mental competency has grow to be a significant subject on this 12 months’s presidential campaign. Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, are the 2 oldest males respectively to have been elected president. In latest days, Biden has combined up the names of some world leaders.
The situation is a vexing one for Biden’s reelection campaign. In a Reuters/Ipsos ballot performed in September, 77% of respondents mentioned they agreed with an announcement that Biden was too outdated to work in authorities, whereas 56% mentioned the identical of Trump.
Haley, 52, has referred to as for mental competency checks for presidential candidates over 75 years outdated.
The situation was thrust entrance and heart once more after Special Counsel Robert Hur, a former U.S. legal professional in Maryland throughout Trump’s administration, mentioned in his report that he selected to not convey felony prices in opposition to Biden following a 15-month investigation into his dealing with of labeled paperwork as a result of the president cooperated.
Hur mentioned the Democratic incumbent could be troublesome to convict and described him as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who was not capable of recall to investigators when his son, Beau Biden, died.
Biden angrily denied Hur’s allegations about his memory, saying in a White House look on Thursday evening, “my memory’s fine.”
Trump, at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, mentioned Hur’s report confirmed Biden “is not fit to serve as our commander in chief.”
Trump – who faces 4 state and federal felony trials, together with one for mishandling labeled paperwork – is near clinching the Republican nomination, and the prospect of a probable normal election rematch with Biden in November.
Haley, who has no clear path to the nomination after Trump’s consecutive wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, is refusing to stop the race, making a possible final stand in her house state of South Carolina, the place she trails badly in opinion polls behind Trump.
Trump on Saturday referred to as his former U.N. ambassador “birdbrain” and “brain-dead,” suggesting she didn’t have the mental capacity to enter the White House.
Haley, starting a two-week bus tour of South Carolina, referred to as Biden “diminished.” She additionally cited a latest Trump speech the place he confused her with former Democratic House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“It’s bigger than just Joe Biden. Whether it’s Donald Trump getting me confused with Nancy Pelosi … it’s time for a new generational leader,” Haley advised reporters.