Biden Gives Remarks During Juneteenth Ceremony

During a Juneteenth celebration at the White House on Monday, President Joe Biden appeared to freeze for approximately 30 seconds while those around him, including Vice President Kamala Harris, clapped and danced to a performance by gospel singer Kirk Franklin. The moment was captured in a video that showed Biden standing motionless until Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, noticed him and put his arm around him. Biden then smiled, exchanged a few words with Floyd, and bumped fists.

Republicans were quick to seize on the incident, highlighting Biden’s advanced age as a campaign issue for the 2024 election. The Republican National Committee’s rapid response account questioned Biden’s lack of movement on X, while former President Trump’s campaign commented, “Lights are on but no one’s home.” Senator Mike Lee of Utah quipped, “Who said Biden’s got no rhythm?”

This incident drew parallels to two occasions last year when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell froze in front of reporters. McConnell, who was 81 at the time, later announced he would step down from leadership after the election and not seek re-election in 2027.

Critics argue that Biden, at 81, is declining in his old age and cannot handle the responsibilities of the presidency. Last week, The Wall Street Journal published a report citing instances where Biden showed a lack of clarity in private meetings with staff and members of Congress.

Despite these criticisms, the White House and Cabinet members have defended Biden’s mental acuity and ability to perform his duties. White House spokesman Andrew Bates stated, “Congressional Republicans, foreign leaders, and nonpartisan national-security experts have made clear in their own words that President Biden is a savvy and effective leader who has a deep record of legislative accomplishment.”

Biden’s tendency for gaffes has been a long-standing issue, dating back to his time as vice president. Recently, however, the frequency and nature of his verbal missteps have raised more concerns. For example, in May, Biden incorrectly recalled the timing of the COVID pandemic, attributing it to his tenure as vice president. Additionally, he has mistakenly referenced deceased individuals as being alive, such as calling out former Rep. Jackie Walorski during a speech in 2022, months after her death.

Biden is the oldest person to serve as U.S. president, and if re-elected, he will be 86 at the end of his second term. The presumptive Republican nominee, former President Trump, is 77, just four years younger than Biden.


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