Biden struggles through CNN town hall: ‘Roosevelt had a thing …’

Joe Biden has some criticisms about President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response, but he had trouble expressing them.

The Democratic presidential candidate tried to take a dig at the president during CNN’s coronavirus town hall Thursday, but for a bit, all he could get out was that “Roosevelt had a thing” that Trump should emulate. Biden was apparently referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s mobilization of the United States during World War II, but the episode was just the latest to raise doubts about his fitness for office.

Democrats still want him as nominee

Biden was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta to comment on Trump’s federal guidelines, unveiled that day, on re-opening the economy in three phases. The former vice president, who has consistently criticized Trump’s response as inadequate, took the opportunity to ding Trump for not acting aggressively enough.

Biden compared Trump unfavorably to Roosevelt, appearing to riff on a common criticism of Trump’s response: that the president, despite calling himself a “wartime president,” has not done enough within his power to mobilize the government. But Biden struggled to get his point across.

“You know, there’s a uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing uh, that uh, you know, was totally different than a, than the, the, it’s called, he called it the, you know, the World War II, he had the war the War Production Board’,” Biden said. Watch below:

Confused statements like these have only seemed to grow more frequent for Biden, who has struggled to attract media attention with public interest focused on the coronavirus. Biden recently drew attention for another incoherent jumble of words, also drawing from American history, in which he said that democracy cannot “sakes second fiddle” to the public health.

“We cannot let this, we’ve never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and … correct the public health.

Trump tees off on Joe’s gaffes

These incidents are just part of what has become, to many, an increasingly concerning, if not amusing, pattern. The Democrat has been mocked on the campaign trail for making such flubs as referring to the Declaration of Independence as “the thing” and briefly confusing his wife with his sister.

These episodes appear to be undermining Biden’s argument for the presidency — that he is fit, and Trump is not, especially in the age of coronavirus — in real time. But so far, his apparent cognitive decline hasn’t stopped him from staging a surprising comeback.

A Super Tuesday surge put him at the front of the pack, and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), until then seen as a serious threat, suffered a string of defeats. Sanders dropped out earlier this month, making Biden the all but certain Democratic candidate. Sanders endorsed Biden one day before the Democrat received what looked to many like a belated endorsement from Barack Obama last week.

For his part, Trump has made a point of mocking “Sleepy Joe” Biden’s episodes of confusion, even suggesting that he is desperate to remain out of the public eye. Biden has been unable to hold campaign events in person, a fact that Trump has suggested may actually be working to his advantage.

On Monday, President Trump shared a crudely edited parody of an Allstate commercial on his social media pages that depicts “Obama” shrugging in response to bizarre comments that Biden made in 2017.

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