Critics have long speculated that President Joe Biden is suffering from age-related cognitive decline — and his behavior in public often fuels such concerns.
Most recently, the president appeared to read aloud technical instructions that were not meant to be spoken as part of his prepared speech.
“Things have begun to change”
According to the New York Post, the incident occurred on Tuesday as he read from a teleprompter.
Of course, the White House later explained that Biden’s use of the phrase “end of quote” was not a gaffe but instead signaled the end of a quote from someone else. The context provided by his prior remarks seems to bolster that explanation.
Nevertheless, the incident served to spark mockery on social media, where multiple users compared his performance to the bumbling on-air antics of Ron Burgundy, the fictional character portrayed by Will Ferrell in the film Anchorman.
Biden had been discussing the economy during his remarks this week and cited a statement from Walmart CEO Doug McMillon regarding the administration’s plans to address global supply chain interruptions and price increases.
“And, by the way, you may have heard the CEO of Walmart yesterday on the steps we’ve taken,” Biden said. “He said, and I quote, ‘The combination of private enterprise and government working together has been really successful.’ He went on to say, ‘All the way through the supply chain, there’s … a lot of innovation.’ Because of the actions we’ve taken, things have begun to change. End of quote.”
Speculation continues to swirl
Fox News reported that it and other outlets had “mistakenly” described his remark as evidence of yet another misstatement from the gaffe-prone president.
Considering Biden’s long track record of botching prepared remarks and stumbling over his words, however, many critics might be willing to forgive those news outlets for their apparent rush to judgment.
Whether his “end of quote” utterance was truly a mistake or part of his scripted remarks is not the point many of his detractors are focused on exploring.
Pundits and politicos alike have frequently expressed concerns about Biden’s ability to lead — and one recent survey showed that nearly half of all voters do not believe he is “mentally fit” for the job.
For his part, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), a former White House physician, has frequently expressed his concerns on the matter and believes the president should undergo a cognitive test to resolve the matter.