For decades prior to entering the White House, President Joe Biden has enjoyed a reputation for being a relatively moderate, if somewhat garrulous, Democratic politician. In recent months, however, some of those who have known him for years insist something has changed.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), for example, recently asserted that he does not recognize the man in the Oval Office, declaring in an interview with the Washington Examiner that Biden’s bipartisan bent has been replaced with a sharply progressive ideology.
“The Joe Biden that we know that would be a deal-maker, that would find a way forward…is AWOL or doesn’t exist,” Graham told the Examiner.
“The best way to get something done”
Graham is not alone, with many on the right expressing concern about the president’s cognitive function and speculating about who is truly in charge of his administration.
After delaying his first solo press conference until more than two months into his term, Biden exhibited signs on Thursday that led some to believe he has lost a step. Over the course of a roughly hour-long conference, some of his answers left viewers scratching their heads.
“So the best way to get something done, if you, if you hold near and dear to you, that you like to be able to, anyway,” Biden said during one particularly confusing response, as the New York Post reported.
The president also seemed to rely on notes when addressing certain topics and certain reporters’ names had been circled, the Post said.
“He needs to re-emerge and re-assert”
Although Graham did not directly imply that Biden cognitively compromised, he hinted that the president is “not in charge” and lamented that the current administration is pushing the “most radical” agenda in the nation’s history.
The South Carolina Republican mentioned that he has not spoken with Biden since the election, and said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hasn’t either. From effectively opening the nation’s borders to placing an emphasis on transgender rights by backing the controversial Equality Act, it is clear that Biden is not the moderate president many of his early supporters had hoped he would be.
A disappointed Graham held out hope that the old Biden he once knew might still be in there, however, telling the Examiner: “If he does exist, he needs to re-emerge and re-assert.”
“I’m a fairly practical guy,” he claimed during Thursday’s press conference. “I want to get things done. And if we have to, if there’s complete lockdown and chaos as a consequence of the filibuster, then we’ll have to go beyond what I’m talking about.”