Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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Ex-Obama aides say age is ‘very real issue’ for Biden, who sounds ‘frail,’ ‘mumbly’

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A group of Obama administration aides-turned media personalities are the latest liberal pundits to admit age is “a very real issue” for President Biden, saying he sounds “frail.” 

Jon Favreau, the top speechwriter for former President Obama when Biden was vice president, co-hosts “Pod Save America” alongside fellow ex-Obama staffers Jon Lovett and Tommy Vietor. An episode about how Biden can handle the age issue dove into the topic that has caused concern for many Democrats.

“If you watch Joe Biden speak, oftentimes he sounds frail, and he sounds more frail than he used to, even in 2019 and 2020,” Favreau said. 

BIDEN’S AGE, MENTAL ACUITY IMPACTING ELECTION CHANCES BECOMES MEDIA FOCUS AFTER TOUGH SPECIAL COUNSEL REPORT

“Now, that may, and I think doesn’t, have anything to do with how sharp he is mentally, but the voice sounds frail, and he shuffles more because of the arthritis in his back,” Favreau continued. “So, for most people in the country who are watching him be president, what do they see when they turn on the television? They see the shuffle and hear him. He’s swallowing a lot more of his words now… he’s just soft-spoken and quiet.”

Favreau then said Biden is “mumbly,” which he said “has an effect” on the American people regardless of whether or not the media focuses on age as the 81-year-old as he seeks re-election.  

“If The New York Times and everyone else stopped covering this issue tomorrow and never mentioned his age again, I guarantee you the concerns would still be there among people because they have been for the last several years,” Favreau said on the podcast that was unearthed by the New York Post.

Lovett largely agreed, saying that “angrily dismissing” the age concern will not make it go away. 

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The criticism of Biden came on the heels of the release of Robert Hur’s report on the president’s handling of classified material fueled questions about Biden’s mental acuity when it described the president as “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who could not remember significant life events. 

Lovett called the report “patronizing,” but the trio admitted Biden’s response wasn’t particularly effective. The trio certainly can’t be mistaken for political centrists; they are strong Democratic supporters and have lambasted former President Trump as “crazy.”

Biden held a last-minute White House press conference earlier this month to dispute the report, but the event was slammed as a “political disaster” even by The New York Times. He at times angrily rejected the notion that he was slipping mentally in combative exchanges with reporters, insisting his memory was “fine,” although he then referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”

Favreau insisted that people around the president feels he is “super sharp,” but said it’s Biden’s responsibility to come off that way when he appears on television. 

“What’s frustrating Democrats… the only person who can ultimately do something about this is Joe Biden,” Favreau said. “Joe Biden could decide to step aside… and have the Democratic Party figure out another nominee, which would involve a convention fight… if he does not, it is up to him to prove to people day in and day out that he is as sharp as ever. That means doing every interview, that means going out there and speaking more.”

FLASHBACK: DEMS RAN DEFENSE ON BIDEN’S AGE BEFORE SPECIAL COUNSEL PUT DAMNING SPOTLIGHT ON HIS ‘POOR MEMORY’

Former Obama advisor and CNN senior political analyst David Axelrod, who has been critical of Biden’s age and fitness for office for months now, has also said Biden’s response to Hur simply did not solve the “problem” of the majority of voters thinking he’s too old and too incompetent for the job.

The “Pod Save America” trio didn’t exactly endorse Trump, as they attacked his rhetoric around NATO and called the Republican frontrunner “crazy” on the same episode of the left-wing podcast. 

Fox News Digital’s Joseph A. Wulfsohn and David Rutz contributed to this report. 

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