Biden falls down on stage at Air Force Academy graduation

 June 2, 2023

President Biden fell down on stage Thursday during the Air Force Academy graduation.

The concerning incident underscored persisting doubts about the oldest president in U.S. history pursuing a second term in office.

Biden falls

Biden, who is 80, lost his footing as he walked away from the podium and fell completely to the floor, before Secret Service and an Air Force officer helped him get back up.

"He's fine. There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands," Ben LaBolt, the White House communications director, tweeted.

Biden appeared to trip over a sandbag, later telling reporters, "I got sandbagged!"

Trump reacts

While campaigning for president in Iowa, former President Donald Trump reacted by joking about the time he walked carefully down a ramp during the West Point commencement in June 2020.

The former president was relentlessly scrutinized over the incident. Indeed, Biden mocked Trump at the time.

"Look at how he steps and look at how I step. Watch how I run up ramps and he stumbles down ramps," Biden said.

Trump said that he hopes Biden isn't hurt.

“WelI, I hope he wasn’t hurt, I hope he wasn’t hurt,” Trump said. "You gotta be careful about that because you don’t want that, even if you have to tiptoe down the ramp,” he joked.

Fit for duty?

Americans overwhelmingly doubt Biden's physical and mental fitness, in a way they do not Trump's.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll last month found that 68 percent of Americans believe Biden is too old to serve, compared to 44 percent who said the same for Trump.

Just 33 percent said Biden is in good enough physical shape to serve, while 32 percent said he is mentally fit.

The 80-year-old has often been observed walking with a stiff gait, rambling in a confused manner and occasionally tripping and falling.

"I respect them taking a hard look at it -- I'd take a hard look at it, as well," he said last month of voters' concerns. "I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects."

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