U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the annual House Democrats 2024 Issues Conference on February 08, 2024 in Leesburg, Virginia.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
President Joe Biden held a last-minute presser after a special counsel report questioned his memory.Biden blasted the claims and scolded reporters who pressed him on them.But Biden also made a gaffe and misspoke just moments after defending his memory.
President Joe Biden appeared furious on Thursday during a last-minute press conference held at the White House about the special counsel report on his handling of classified documents.
While the report determined Biden should not be criminally charged, it included stark statements about his memory, describing it as “poor” and “hazy.”
Biden started the press conference by noting the special counsel’s findings that criminal charges were not warranted and saying that there was a shortage of evidence suggesting he willfully retained classified material.
As for the claims about his memory, Biden said, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.”
The report said Biden could not recall what years he was vice president (January 2009 to January 2017) and when his son Beau died (2015).
When addressing the claim about his son, Biden got especially angry.
“I don’t need anyone to remind me when he passed away,” Biden said.
He said that he had sat for many hours over two days to discuss events going back decades, all while an international crisis was going on. He sat for questioning just days after Hamas launched attacks on Israel.
“My memory is fine,” Biden said when reporters pressed him.
In response to a reporter asking why he should be the Democratic nominee for president, Biden insisted he was the most qualified person to be president and that he should finish what he started.
But moments after defending his memory, Biden made the same kind of gaffe that has fueled concern and criticism over his mental acuity.
When speaking of the situation in Israel and Gaza, Biden said he spoke with the president of Mexico when, in fact, he meant the president of Egypt.
It’s not exactly new information that Biden’s biggest liability is that he’s in his 80s. Polling consistently shows Americans of both political parties are concerned about the president’s age and fitness.
But having a special counsel report call out his memory so directly may be harder for voters to dismiss than when GOP pundits do it.
And it will likely be harder for Biden and his campaign to ignore, too.