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17 July, 2024
 
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USA: WSJ op-ed claims Biden is losing competency

While Republicans attack Biden's age at 81, Democrats highlight Trump’s gaffes at 77

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White House officials and President Biden's allies criticized The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday after the outlet published a report suggesting the president is showing signs of cognitive decline in private meetings.

The article, titled "Behind Closed Doors, Biden Shows Signs of Slipping," prompted strong backlash from Democrats, who accused the Journal of relying heavily on Republican sources, including former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosts criticized the piece as biased, with Joe Scarborough asserting Biden's superiority in handling international affairs and bipartisan legislation.

The Journal based its story on interviews with 45 individuals over several months, including both Democrats and Republicans who had attended or been briefed on Biden's meetings. The report highlighted instances of Biden relying on notes, deferring questions to aides, and speaking too softly to be heard, attributing much of the negative feedback to Republicans. The only on-record criticism came from McCarthy, who claimed Biden had deteriorated since his vice presidency.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates and Communications Director Ben LaBolt pushed back on X, sharing past praises from McCarthy about Biden's professionalism and mental sharpness during their debt ceiling negotiations. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) also criticized the Journal for omitting her positive remarks about Biden’s leadership during a January meeting on Ukraine.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez defended the president’s capabilities in a call with reporters, describing him as a strong leader. The Wall Street Journal stood by its reporting, despite the pushback.

The scrutiny comes as Biden, 81, seeks a second term, with his age and fitness for office under increasing examination. Republicans, led by former President Trump, continue to question Biden's competency, while Democrats counter by pointing out Trump's own verbal gaffes and advanced age of 77. Biden has consistently dismissed concerns about his age, emphasizing his capability to perform his duties effectively.

[Information sourced from The Hill]

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