Latest News 27-06-2024 21:01 16 Views

Most Biden rally appearances are shorter than a sitcom, helping fuel stamina concerns

President Biden spoke for a maximum of 33 minutes and clocked in at well under half an hour during the majority of the 11 campaign rallies this year at which he gave a solo address – performances that are at odds with the White House's portrayal of the president's stamina and that contrast sharply with the numerous lengthy orations delivered by Biden's 2024 rival: former President Trump.

Biden spoke for more than 30 minutes on just three occasions during the 11 rallies in 2024 examined by Fox News Digital. Rallies are defined as campaign events at which Biden took the stage alone, stood in front of a podium and was joined by cheering supporters, as opposed to intimate campaign stops, fundraising events, or the brief remarks he has made while carrying out his duties as president.

All three rallies at which he spoke for more than 30 minutes occurred during the first two months of 2024. He spoke for 33 minutes at a rally in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, in January; for about 32 minutes during a rally at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, also in January; and for 32 minutes during a North Las Vegas rally in February. 

Biden's most recent rally came on May 29 in Philadelphia and was one of just two that occurred after March.

The eight campaign rallies at which he spoke for fewer than 30 minutes are: roughly 20 minutes at an event in Manassas, Virginia, in January; about 10 minutes during an event in Culver City, California, in February; about 25 minutes during a campaign event in Wallingford, Pennsylvania; and just under 30 minutes at a rally in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in April. He also spoke for about 20 minutes during a campaign rally in Philadelphia in May; about 10 minutes at a rally at a restaurant in Phoenix in March; about 27 minutes during a Las Vegas campaign rally focusing on the economy in March; and about 20 minutes during an Atlanta rally in March. 

 Outside of the election cycle, the 46th president has also delivered far fewer news conferences than his predecessors, which earned him criticism in the first weeks of his presidency. 

Biden notably did speak for more than an hour during the State of the Union on March 7. 

Trump, on the other hand, holds rallies on a regular basis – outside of when he faced trial in Manhattan regarding 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trump's stops have included instances during which he spoke for nearly two hours in Georgia after winning that state's Republican primary in March. He spoke for 90 minutes at a Wildwood, New Jersey, rally in May. As recently as Saturday, Trump spoke for an hour at a rally on Temple University’s campus in Philadelphia. 

Biden’s relative bevy of campaign events this year are a departure from his 2020 cloistered campaign strategy during the pandemic, which earned him the nickname 'Basement Joe' from Trump. However, outside of the election cycle, the 46th president has also delivered far fewer news conferences than his predecessors, which earned him criticism in the first weeks of his presidency. 

Biden began his tenure in the White House with criticism from voters and members of the media for waiting months before holding his first formal, solo news conference in March 2021. The nearly three-month stretch of no full news conferences was the longest a newly-minted president has gone without speaking to the press in at least 100 years. 

Data compiled by Fox News shows Biden has held 36 news conferences as of this year, with the pressers lasting an average of 33 minutes. During the same time period during the Trump administration, the 45th president held 60 news conferences, while President Barack Obama held 74. 

Biden is set to take the debate stage in Atlanta on Thursday evening, where he will face off against Trump for the first time since their debate on Oct. 22, 2020. The CNN Presidential Debate will air for 90 minutes, including two commercial breaks, far longer than Biden typically spends at a podium on the campaign trail. 

Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer told Fox News Digital when reached for comment that Trump and 'the crazy person screaming in the street all speak for longer than 30 minutes' and 'no one believes that is a sign of mental acuity – well maybe Dr. Ronny Jackson does.' 

'Every day, Joe Biden is president of the United States, fighting to protect women's rights, build an economy that works for all Americans rights, and defend democracy at home and abroad. Donald Trump couldn't do that, that's why he's no longer president, spending his weeks golfing, sleeping in courtrooms, and gladhanding racist billionaires who want to cut Social Security,' Singer said. 

Trump has challenged Biden to take a drug test ahead of the event, previously suggesting the president takes substances to enhance his cognitive functioning. While former White House physician Ronny Jackson, who now serves as a Republican Texas congressman, also called on the president to take a drug test ahead of the debate, citing a recent bombshell Wall Street Journal report detailing interviews with roughly 45 lawmakers and administration officials who described Biden as an 81-year-old leader losing his savvy. 

'This is a Biden-specific concern based on the unexplained change in his demeanor during the [State of the Union]. President Trump has been the same his entire life, and there have definitely been no concerning changes. President Trump has also previously offered to take one if Biden does,' Jackson previously told Fox News Digital. 

The White House hit back that the Wall Street Journal story and anecdotes were examples of partisan politics working to deride the 'savvy and effective' president. The article, however, was just a more recent example of claims Biden has lost his sharpness, which had been on public display for decades when he served as a Delaware senator and eventually as Obama’s vice president. 

Earlier this year, Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report investigating Biden's handling of classified documents after his departure as vice president under the Obama administration further compounded concern over the president’s mental acuity. 

Hur announced in February that he would not recommend criminal charges against Biden for possessing classified materials after his vice presidency, calling Biden 'a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.'

'Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone from whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him – by then a former president well into his eighties – of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness,' Hur wrote in his report. 

The findings sparked widespread outrage that Biden was effectively deemed too cognitively impaired to be charged with a crime yet could still serve as president.

The report’s findings have been repeatedly cited by critics and the media amid a string of gaffes and missed cues Biden has made in recent weeks, including Obama taking Biden’s wrist to seemingly lead him offstage at a fundraiser in LA this month, and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni directing Biden back to a gaggle of world leaders in Italy this month after he took a few steps away from the group to give a thumbs up to a parachutist. 

The White House has pushed back, saying videos claiming to show Biden motionless or receiving assistance from those around him are 'cheapfakes presented by discredited rightwing groups who can’t contend with the President’s record and agenda.' 

The CNN Presidential Debate will kick off at 9 p.m. Thursday from Atlanta, Georgia. Biden is anticipated to head to New York City following the debate, where he will join musician Elton John in a visit to the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village to remember the 55th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The 1969 riots are viewed as the beginning of the gay rights movement in the U.S. 

Trump will head to Virginia following the debate, where he will hold a rally in Chesapeake regarding 'Joe Biden's Incompetent Presidency,' according to his campaign website. 


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