If Joe Biden is reelected in 2024 he will be 86 at the end of his second term. Certainly, that merits some discussion about when one becomes too old to serve as president. Donald Trump, Biden’s likeliest opponent, has been trying to use these concerns to his advantage, though he’s really in no position to do so; he’s just three years younger than Biden and is notorious for his incoherence. But Trump has never been one to shy away from a good attack line, even if it’s hypocritical and ultimately self-destructive.
Last week Trump, who is 77, was mentioned in several high-profile stories on questions about the president’s cognitive abilities. This made him so incensed that he fired off a series of nearly unintelligible Truth Social posts about his superior “mentality” and challenged Biden and various media figures to take the “mental acuity test” that he “ACED” back in 2018. (It was actually a dementia test that involved Trump recalling the words “person, woman, man, camera, TV.”)
He didn’t stop there. During a Friday night speech at the Pray Vote Stand summit in Washington, D.C., Trump warned that Biden is “cognitively impaired,” and if reelected he will drag us into a war … that ended 78 years ago.
“We have a man who is totally corrupt and the worst president in the history of our country, who is cognitively impaired, in no condition to lead, and who is now in charge of dealing with Russia and possible nuclear war,” Trump said. “Just think of it. We would be in World War II very quickly if we’re going to be relying on this man.”
Obviously, Trump meant to say “World War III.” Insisting that we’re on the brink of another great war, and maybe even nuclear annihilation, has been part of his stump speech for months. But that isn’t the only line he flubbed. At another point in the speech, Trump seemed to mix up Biden and Barack Obama, suggesting he’s currently leading his predecessor in the 2024 polls.
“As you know, crooked Joe Biden and the radical-left thugs have weaponized law enforcement to arrest their leading political opponent, and leading by a lot, including Obama — I’ll tell you what,” Trump said.
Later he claimed he defeated Obama in the 2016 election, saying, “With Obama, we won an election that everyone said couldn’t be won.” He then corrected himself and said he ran against Hillary Clinton.
Trump confusing his words here isn’t proof that he’s cognitively impaired, as some commentators suggested. He took the stage around 9:45 p.m. and spoke from a teleprompter for more than an hour, delivering the speech in his typical rambling style. The most unsettling part of the speech was actually the final ten minutes, when swelling instrumental music started playing the background, possibly to make terrifying lines like this sound more inspirational:
We are a nation that no longer has a free and fair press. Fake news is all you get and they are the true enemy of the people. They refuse to discuss the Biden crime family but enjoy covering false indictments of Donald Trump, who has done nothing wrong …
We are a nation whose economy is collapsing into a cesspool of ruin …
We are a nation where large packs of sadistic criminals and thieves are allowed to go into stores and openly rob them, beat up and kill their workers and customers and leave with armloads of good but no retribution.
But following Trump’s flubs it is pretty ironic that he reiterated his call for all presidential candidates to take a “test to make sure everyone’s just fine” in his Meet the Press interview which aired on Sunday. Trump also bragged to host Kristen Welker about his (unremarkable) 2018 test results, then he claimed 77 isn’t “anywhere near 80:”
You know, some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s. I’m not anywhere very near 80, by the way. And Biden’s not too old. I don’t think Biden’s too old. But I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem. I don’t think 80 is old. I know people that are 89. I know a person 94, 95 who’s 100 percent. Bernie Marcus, take a look at Bernie Marcus, Home Depot. I mean, he has been amazing for so many years. He’s 95 years old. It’s really a level of competency, not the age.
Days ago, Trump insisted that Biden is “truly dumb & out of ‘it’” because he mistakenly said there were nine, rather than seven, wonders of the world. But now he’s chilled out. Age is just a number, man. And we’re all allowed to make mistakes! (If we’re Donald J. Trump.)
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