Joe Biden, 81, Delivers Gaffe-Ridden Press Conference with Kenyan President

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: U.S. President Joe Biden and Kenyan President William Ruto hold a
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden appeared to struggle to deliver cogent thoughts during his press conference with Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday, raising concerns about his fitness for office.

The awkwardness of the press conference was the latest in a series of public events in which Biden struggled to deliver remarks without gaffes. Aides to Biden corrected nine gaffes on a transcript of a speech he delivered on Sunday.

During Thursday’s press conference, Biden repeatedly answered questions by reading long quotes from notes hidden behind the lectern.

He also called Vice President Kamala Harris the president. “Our nation’s first black vice president, President Kamala Harris,” he said.

Biden told the Kenyan president that “the African continent will have a billion people not too soon.” The African Development Bank Group estimates the African population to be at least 1.2 billion.

After the press conference ended, Biden randomly shouted, “Whoa!” and threw up his hands.

“This concludes the press conference. Thanks, everybody. Thanks you, everybody. This concludes the press conference. Thank you. Thanks, everybody,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said immediately after Biden’s “Whoa”:

Biden, whom special counsel Robert Hur described as “an elderly man with a poor memory,” suffers from atrial fibrillation, peripheral neuropathy in his feet, and hyperlipidemia, according to his annual physical, conducted in February by physician Kevin O’Connor. The health challenges might explain why he struggles to remain upright. Biden has tripped, tumbled, and stumbled at least five times during his presidency.

US President Joe Biden is helped up after falling during the graduation ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy, just north of Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado, on June 1, 2023 (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images).

Biden implemented a new strategy of walking to and from Marine One with multiple aides to “draw less attention” to his physical ailments, Axios’s Hans Nichols and Alex Thompson reported in April. Biden also began boarding Air Force One from the shorter steps at the rear of the aircraft, instead of the taller staircase at the front. Biden also does not wear typical dress shoes with his suits. He wears a specially crafted sports shoe to help him walk, a typical wardrobe change for the elderly.

President Joe Biden walks up the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, July 20, 2023. Biden is traveling to Philadelphia to court unions as a cornerstone of the country's economic future with a speech at a Philadelphia shipyard. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Joe Biden walks up the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, July 20, 2023 (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta).

Polling shows that Americans question Biden’s ability to lead:

  • About one-third of Democrats doubt Biden’s mental fitness, a Harvard/Harris survey recently found.
  • Another poll revealed that 82 percent of Americans harbor concerns about Bidem’s physical and mental health.
  • Only about one-third of voters say Biden is physically or mentally fit to serve a second term, Quinnipiac found.

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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