- President Joe Biden experienced a coughing spell during a speech on climate change.
- Biden was discussing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and clean energy development.
- Recent polls and incidents have raised concerns about Biden’s age and ability to serve a second term as president.
President Joe Biden suffered a coughing spell during a speech on Tuesday while speaking on his administration’s actions to address climate change. Biden was speaking about the anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is on Wednesday, and the CHIPS and Science Act when he started briefly coughing at the lectern. It lasted about 10 seconds.
Joe Biden is not well 😬 pic.twitter.com/YeXVdWC4jF
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 14, 2023
“The CHIPS and Science Act I signed last year … excuse me,” Biden said, coughing. “I signed last year, excuse me … I signed last year positions us to lead in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation, which is critical to clean energy development and deployment.”
The president also spoke about his visit to White House “Demo Day” to meet with scientists and experts working on projects funded by the Biden administration, such as electric heat pumps geared toward clean energy and robots for ocean exploration.
“It was truly inspirational hearing from experts from all across the government, private sector, and academia, touching on so many fields,” Biden said. “I saw a prosthetic arm that can sense touch, and it’s controlled by one’s thoughts. A prosthetic arm. It’s just like your hand — you think you want to move your finger … you can do it. It’s an incredible breakthrough.”
“In this administration, America will be the place where great science changes what’s possible. That’s why I’ve never been more optimistic about America’s future,” Biden added.
A recent Wall Street Journal poll found that two-thirds of Democrats believe Biden is too old to be president. At 80, Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. He would be 82 if he wins reelection and 86 at the end of his second term, which would make him the oldest person to assume the presidency for the second time.
Rasmussen Reports found that 72% of likely voters believe that Biden’s age could be a “serious problem” in terms of his chances of winning reelection. Recent incidents regarding trips and falls, malapropisms, and losing his train of thought have caused people on both sides of the aisle to worry whether he can handle a second term as president.
Democratic strategist David Axelrod, a former adviser to former President Barack Obama, said on Monday that Biden’s “age issue” is hanging over him, which he thinks could be used to Rep. Dean Phillips’s (D-MN) advantage. Phillips announced his campaign for president in late October.
Axelrod caused a stir last week when he said in a post on X that Biden “needs to decide” if becoming the Democratic nominee “is wise.” On Tuesday, Axelrod called on Biden to “get out or get going” on his presidential campaign.
“The status quo, the way they were approaching the campaign, this sort of ‘What me, worry?’ attitude about the campaign was not going to get him to where he needs to go,” Axelrod said Tuesday, adding that the “stakes are so high” given Biden will likely be up against former President Donald Trump next November.
“It’s a fundamental question as to what American democracy is going to look like the day after the next election,” he continued.
Biden’s coughing spell during his climate change speech has once again highlighted concerns about his age and ability to serve a second term. As the oldest president in U.S. history, incidents like these fuel doubts about his mental and physical fitness. With two-thirds of Democrats believing he’s too old, and 72% of likely voters considering his age a “serious problem,” it’s time for Biden to prove he’s up to the task or step aside for someone who can truly lead America into the future. As Axelrod said, the stakes are too high for a “What me, worry?” attitude.
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