Dem Rep. Smith: Biden ‘Does Not Have the Normal Strength’ to Campaign, He’s Done Well Despite ‘Affordability Crises’

On Friday’s broadcast of “CNN News Central,” House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) stated that President Joe Biden “does not have the normal strength to go out there and campaign, to do rally after rally and conversation after conversation.” But is capable of doing the job of being President and is doing so well, even if “there are still affordability crises.”

Smith said, “I have worked with the President. I’ve sat in meetings with him, I’ve spoken to him on the phone, we have talked about incredibly complicated, important subjects, the ones that we just discussed here. And at no time did I think that he wasn’t completely on top of that very complicated situation that we talked about, what’s happening with Israel and Gaza, what’s happening between Russia and Ukraine, how do we deal with the southern border. There’s been no moment when I’m like, I don’t think he knows what’s going on. Now, does he occasionally say the wrong word? Certainly. As I was thinking on the way over here, once, during an interview with Neil Cavuto, I called him Steve. I have no idea why I did that. I know what his name is. So, that doesn’t worry me as much as whether or not he knows what’s going on in the world, and right now, I’m quite confident that he does based on the interactions that I’ve had with him.”

Co-host John Berman then asked, “Right now, are you confident, when you look around the country, that President Biden is the best Democratic candidate to defeat Donald Trump?”

Smith responded, “Look, I’m not going to kid you on one point, it is a challenge that he is as old as he is. It is, without question. He is fully capable of doing the job. He’s doing it well. He does not have the normal strength to go out there and campaign, to do rally after rally and conversation after conversation. And that’s going to be difficult on the campaign trail. But as I’ve said before, President Biden may not be the best campaigner in the world. He’s doing a good job as President. I’d rather have someone who’s good at the job and not great at the campaigning than the other way around. But it’s going to be a challenge to go out there and win that campaign.”

Berman then asked, “Because he is so old?”

Smith answered, “I don’t know if it’s that or it’s just the way he communicates or the way his campaign goes. But clearly, yesterday’s press conference — as you said, I’m a senior Democratic politician, I’ve been doing this for a long time — that’s not the way you want to do it. I think we can all agree on that. He was angry. He was frustrated by what came out. There was not a prepared, clear agenda of, okay, here’s my explanation, here is what I’m doing. And it didn’t go well, there’s no doubt about that. That needs to get better. But again, the most important thing is, is he on top of the economy? Look at how we have managed — everyone said we were going to be in a recession. We’re not. Now, there are still affordability crises. We’ve to make housing more affordable. We’ve got to make food more affordable, But he has negotiated a very difficult situation, coming out of the pandemic, dealing with a series of international crises, in a way that has been very coherent and has moved the policy forward. There’s no doubt in my mind right now that he’s capable of doing the job. Messaging, very complicated, if you’ve never run for office, I like to think of myself as a reasonably articulate person, and I’ve done this a long time, I’ve been in press conferences, I’ve been in town hall meetings where I went, I shouldn’t have said that, and then you try to fix it and then you make it worse. It is not as easy as it looks.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.