Ex-Obama advisor says Biden's response to special counsel report has only made things worse

 February 10, 2024

David Axelrod, the former Obama advisor, says that President Joe Biden's "angry" response to Special Counsel Robert Hur's report has likely only made things worse for Biden. 

Axelrod said as much during a recent appearance on CNN.

Hur's report

If you have been following national politics, then it is likely that you know that there has been significant concern - across party lines - about Biden's mental fitness. Accordingly, the last thing Biden and his team would want is for anything to happen that could reinforce this concern.

Well, this past week, Special Counsel Robert Hur - the man who was tasked with investigating whether or not Biden unlawfully mishandled classified documents - essentially decided not to prosecute Biden because of the president's lack of mental fitness.

Hurr wrote that, while Biden "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials," prosecution is not warranted, because "[i]t would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness."

Hur, in his report, even called Biden "a sympathetic, well-meaning elderly man with a poor memory."

Biden's press conference

The worst thing that Biden could do after the report's release is confirm it. But, this is exactly what he did.

During a press conference that he gave - a press conference in which he insisted that his memory is "fine" - Biden referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the "president of Mexico."

Biden also angrily lashed out at reporters. Biden, at one point, said, "I'm well-meaning and I'm an elderly man and I know what the hell I'm doing. I've been president and I put this country back on its feet. I don't need his recommendation."

"Reinforcing the meme"

Axelrod appeared on CNN to analyze Biden's press conference, and, in his opinion, it was not good.

Axelrod, in fact, said that Biden "reinforced the meme" that Biden is too old to be president.

"Anderson, the most damaging things that can happen in politics – there are things that reinforce a meme that’s out there that is hurting you. And the central meme that is hurting the president is this issue of age. It’s a big barrier," Axelrod said.

He added, "People don’t give him credit for what he’s done. They blame him for everything that happens and a lot of it has to do with their feelings about his age. So it’s not wise to say to a reporter, ‘That’s your interpretation.’ It’s not. There are reams of polling material about this."

Axelrod concluded by saying that he is "not sure" that Biden, with the press conference, achieved his goal of proving Hur wrong. Most would likely classify this as an understatement.

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