Former vice president Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump in a foreign policy speech on Thursday — but the Democratic frontrunner’s prepared remarks were marred by speech difficulties.
An aging Biden stumbled, coughed, and stammered through the speech, asking at one point, “What am I doing?” according to a video compiled by the American Mirror.
Biden Stumbles, Stammers Through Speech
Biden’s speech returned to a familiar anti-Trump message: Donald Trump has laid low America’s position on the global stage, and Biden will restore it. Except Biden sounded more like he was ready to retire, not become the leader of the free world.
“Donald Trump and the democrogs — demagogues around the world are learn — leaning into these forces,” Biden stammered.
The Democrat slurred through “fascism,” and mistakenly called the president “President Tump.” His speech was interrupted at one point by a coughing fit. We’ve negle-we’ve neglected the basics. By strengthening, by strengthening, by strengthening,” he said.
“Partnerships built of cohesion— excuse me, coercion,” he said. At one point in the speech, Biden asked, “What am I doing?” We’d ask the same question.
Watch the clipped video below. A full video of the speech is available on C-SPAN.
This is not the first time Biden has struggled with public speeches during the race. He noticeably stammered through his first campaign speech back in April.
Biden has suffered a drop in the polls after Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) attacked his record on race in the first round of primary debates. Although he still leads the pack, post-debate polls show Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) closing the gap.
An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Biden leading with 26 percent, followed by Warren with 19 percent. However, another poll this week showed Biden with a commanding lead in South Carolina — even with black voters.
Biden’s feeble debate performance, and the ensuing drop in the polls, left many questioning his frontrunner status — and put a sharp accent on questions about his stamina and health that have dogged his campaign from the start. At 76 years old, Biden would be the oldest president ever elected if he were to beat Donald Trump in 2020, at the age of 78. He would be 86 at the end of two terms.
Biden, who president Trump has labeled “Sleepy Joe,” hasn’t helped perceptions of weakness by keeping a relatively light campaign schedule. Many Democrats have expressed that Biden is just too feeble and uninspiring to get them excited.
While there has been plenty of speculation about Biden’s baggage on race and other issues, the Democrat’s Achilles’ heel may be that he’s just old. At his best, Biden sounds doddering and weak. At his worst, he’s virtually unintelligible. Many Democrats may feel Biden is their only shot to beat Trump — but at this rate, making Biden take on that stress just seems cruel.