Biden’s Post-Debate Crisis Calls His Mental Fitness Into Question

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Jul 03, 2024

During a press conference briefing on Tuesday, the White House had to fend off difficult questions about President Biden’s mental abilities. Reporters had questions about his low performance during last week’s debate with Donald Trump.

Many question whether Biden is unfit to hold the office of president amid ongoing issues with his public performance.

White House Press Secretary Speaks on the Issue

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, said, “First of all, I want to say we understand the concerns. We get it. The president did not have a great night.”

A black woman stands in front of the White House press logo

Source: @rosesbloom25/X

She added that the administration and Biden’s reelection campaign team watched the same debate as everyone else and weren’t happy with the results.

Major Hits to Biden's Campaign

The debate was a massive blow to the current president’s reelection efforts. Instead of assuring voters that his age and mental abilities are far from the top issue, it had the opposite effect.

President Joe Biden wears a black suit while walking next to Vice President Kamala Harris wearing a dark grey suit

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According to officials, campaign coordinators struggled to calm high-profile donors after Biden’s slow and jarring performance in Thursday’s debate.

Democratic Members Are Not Asking Biden To Drop Out

Earlier this week, Lloyd Doggett, a Democratic member of Congress, became the first member to ask President Biden to withdraw from the race.

A man with grey hair, a black suit jacket, and a white and red striped tie stands in front of several flags

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Now, the call to relinquish the spot for Democratic pick has several supporters. Many say that staying in the race will hand Trump the presidency as much of the voting public won’t trust Biden to maintain his fitness.

Who Would Replace Biden as Democratic Candidate?

If Biden were to withdraw from the race so close to the election, there are a few options for replacements.

Vice President Kamala Harris seated at her desk in a well-appointed office, smiling as she writes, with American flags and the Vice Presidential seal in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Firstly, Vice President Kamala Harris could step into his place. Also, the Democratic Party could push a rush ballot through to select a new leader.

Biden Will Appear in Two High-Profile Events This Week

In an effort to reestablish Biden’s position as a mentally fit presidential candidate, the White House Press Secretary noted that he will appear at two high-profile events this week.

Joe Biden wears a pair of aviators while walking next to Kamala Harris

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The first is an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, to be aired on Friday, and a solo news conference during the NATO summit in Washington this week.


Members of Biden's Inner Circle Are Worried

Outside of his public performance, several members of Biden’s inner circle are preoccupied with his mental faculties.

A sticky note fixed to a door that reads "Vote Biden"

Source: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

The New York Times reported that his mental lapses are becoming more common. As well his age has also been a recurring topic with high-profile donors who worry that their efforts to push the democratic party toward another victory have been in vain.


Biden Blaming His Travel Schedule

As the campaign efforts ramp up, Biden has been travelling to various press conferences, rallies, and meetings amid his usual presidential duties.

Joe Biden exits Air Force One with three military officers

Source: @ChrisDJackson/X

He claims that his poor performance during Thursday’s debate should be blamed on his gruelling travel schedule. However, many critics note that the president should be capable of such activities.


Falling Asleep on Stage

During Tuesday’s fundraising event in Virginia, the president remarked, “I decided to travel around the world a couple of times … shortly before the debate … I didn’t listen to my staff … and then I almost fell asleep onstage.” According to insiders, the remark was met with laughter.

Joe Biden wearing a black coat with an American flag pin stands in front of a blue screen

Source: @ABC7NY/X

Reporters in the room note that the “falling asleep” line was meant to be a joke. However, several democrats opposed to Biden’s continued run aren’t so sure.


Ongoing Excuses Drawing Concerns

Press Secretary Jean-Pierre noted that the president was also sick before his debate last week, despite having two weeks of rest between his return on June 15 from Italy at the G7 meeting and the debate on June 17.

A woman stands at a podium during a white house press conference

Source: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commnons

The excuses from the Biden camp are beginning to trip into each other. The following few months of the campaign are crucial as Trump’s popularity seems to be ramping up.


Could Harris Defeat Trump?

Several hypothetical polling results show that Harris might be a fair match for former President Donald Trump if she was forced to take over for Biden.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden stand next to each other at an outdoor podium

Source: @KamalaHarris/X

A close call of 47% in favour of Trump and 45% for Harris shows that only a margin of error stands between her and the presidency. Currently, Harris has been turning down the idea in the press, stating to CBS on Tuesday: “Look, Joe Biden is our nominee. We beat Trump once and we’re going to beat him again, period.”


What Would Happen if the President Became Mentally Incapacitated

Even after the popular vote has been cast, the electors meet in state capitol buildings to vote for the presidency.

US President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd in front of several American flags

Source: Reddit

While a new name can’t be added at this late stage, the running mate would essentially step in if a president became unable to perform the duties of the office. In the case of Biden, Harris would step into his place with enthusiasm. Currently, Donald Trump says he has several contenders for running mate, although he hasn’t selected one yet.