Biden gives Dems heartburn with joke about his brain

 July 5, 2024

During a meeting Wednesday with Democratic governors, Joe Biden told a joke about his health that came a little too close to the truth.

In response to a question from Hawaii governor Josh Green (D), Biden reportedly said, "I’m fine — I don’t know about my brain, though."

Biden has long been known to use self-deprecating humor throughout his political career. But this latest joke likely elicited some groans as Democrats panic over Biden's re-election odds following his debate debacle last week.

Biden jokes about brain

Biden's campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Biden was "clearly making a joke and then said, 'All kidding aside.'"

However, at least one governor at the meeting was "puzzled" by Biden's comment, the New York Times reported.

Later, Governor Green defended Biden on CNN and urged Democrats to "lighten up."

Green, a doctor, said Biden's ability to make jokes is proof that he is not in cognitive decline - hardly a ringing endorsement of his fitness.

"Biden was just kidding with us and frankly, and I'm saying this as a physician, it is a significant ability to cognitively still be able to make a self-deprecating joke," Green said. "So if anything, people do need to lighten up."

Dems in panic

Biden has done little to quiet fears about his fitness, telling the governors Wednesday that he just needs to sleep more and work less. He said he would stop scheduling events after 8 p.m.

Democrats have been left divided on how to move forward, with many fearing Biden could hurt the party down ballot. So far, Biden has found relatively robust backing from governors, but Democrats in Congress have been less supportive.

A handful of House Democrats have called on Biden to step aside, and Democratic senator Mark Warner (Va.) has reportedly begun an effort to get Biden out.

Biden has responded to the mounting pressure with defiance. He dismissed Warner as "the only one" when asked about Warner's push on Friday at a campaign rally in Wisconsin, where Biden vowed to keep fighting.

“They’re trying to push me out of the race,” he told a crowd. “Well let me say this as clearly as I can: I’m staying in the race.”

“I’m not letting one 90-minute debate wipe out three and a half years of work,” he said.

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