Throughout the 2020 presidential race, Joe Biden faced mounting speculation from those in the media and elsewhere regarding frequent verbal gaffes and other missteps that some perceived as evidence of cognitive decline.
Since his inauguration, those fears have apparently lingered, as evidenced in the response to a recent video that shows the president repeatedly stumbling over his words and struggling to make it through a complete sentence.
“Human beings are not bartering chips”
According to reports, Biden was delivering prepared remarks on Tuesday during a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
As the two men began to speak about the plight of two Canadians being held in China, a transcript indicates that Biden said: “Let me reiterate our support for the release of the detained Chinese — the detained in China, two Canadians: Michael Spavor and Michael Koving — Kovrig, excuse me. Human beings are not bartering chips. You know, we’re going to work together until we get their safe return.”
Video of the remarks, however, have been widely shared on social media and reveal his struggle to find the right words.
Shame on Joe Biden’s family for doing this to him.
(Video from live feed moments ago)
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) February 24, 2021
Just as some of former President Donald Trump’s most ardent critics raised the prospect of invoking the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in a last-ditch effort to remove him from office, some Biden critics are clearly concerned that he might be unfit to serve as commander in chief.
“Will come back to haunt Joe Biden”
As the amendment states, a majority of a White House Cabinet must formally notify Congress that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” at which point the vice president would take over as acting president.
Prior to the election, rumors began to swirl that there was a plan all along to replace Biden with his running mate, Kamala Harris.
For his part, Trump addressed the push to invoke the 25th Amendment against him as posing no real threat to his own presidency but predicted that it “will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration,” advising his critics to “be careful what you wish for.”
Even some polling numbers reveal a broad belief among the U.S. electorate that Biden does not seem to be up for the job.
Business Insider and Survey Monkey conducted one such poll, which found that only about 44% of respondents were “extremely” or “very” confident in the president’s abilities. A slim majority were “somewhat,” “not so,” or “not at all” confident.