For months, President Trump and his allies have questioned whether 77-year-old Democratic challenger Joe Biden has lost his mental sharpness and whether the former vice president has the stamina to serve as the nation’s commander in chief.
But a new national poll suggests that slightly more Americans are confident of Biden’s mental and physical abilities than of the 74-year-old president’s capabilities.
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According to a Monmouth University survey released on Thursday, 52 percent of registered voters questioned said they’re at least somewhat confident that Biden has the mental and physical stamina to carry out the extremely demanding job of president. Only 45 percent said the same thing about Trump.
However, a third of those questioned said they were very confident that the president has the mental and physical fitness to carry out his job, compared with 23 percent for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
The president in May charged that Biden’s “not mentally sharp enough to be president” and that the former vice president “doesn’t know he’s alive,” in an interview with WJLA-TV.
And last month during an interview with Fox News, Trump claimed that “Joe’s not all there. Everybody knows it. And it’s sad when you look at it and you see it.”
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When asked by Fox News’ Doug McKelway during a news conference earlier this week if he’s checking for cognitive decline, Biden responded, “I’m constantly tested.” And he stressed, “I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”
Minutes earlier – as he criticized Trump’s insistence that he hadn’t been briefed by intelligence officers over reports that Russia was offering bounties to Afghan militants to kill U.S. forces – Biden charged that “this president talks about cognitive capability. He doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on.”
Both Biden and Trump have long been criticized for their rambling speeches and gaffes.
Questions about the president’s health have once again surfaced in recent weeks, following pictures of Trump at the commencement ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
A clip of Trump slowly and carefully descending a ramp from the podium — as West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams walked alongside him — went viral and spurred media coverage questioning the health of the president. (Trump ridiculed that narrative at his recent Tulsa rally.)
The Monmouth University poll was conducted June 26-30, with 867 registered voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.