Former Obama advisor and CNN senior political analyst David Axelrod told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper that the president’s defiant response Thursday night to Hur’s findings that he has “poor memory” and thus should not be charged for illegally holding classified documents, probably did not solve the “problem” of the majority of voters thinking he’s too old and too incompetent for the job.
The analyst, who has been critical of Biden’s age and fitness for office for months now, made his comments shortly after Biden finished the press conference where he dinged Hur for characterizing him as elderly and forgetful and sparred with reporters asking him about the special counsel’s points.
Axelrod began by stating he understands why Biden had the press conference, noting that Hur’s report was “red-hot and out there and list people felt he needed to – and his people felt he needed respond to it.”
However, he added, “Whether the response was adequate, or whether it creates more problems, I think is another question.”
“He did contradict elements of the special counsel’s report. And that undoubtedly will go on,” he said, adding, “And then he was quite angry, not just at the release, or the characterizations of the special counsel, but of what some of the reporters were asking him.”
Axelrod stressed that the age and mental fitness issue is “a problem for the president” and warned that Biden seems to be “reinforcing” people’s impression of him as too old.
“Anderson, the most damaging things that can happen in politics – there are things that reinforce a meme that’s out there that is hurting you. And the central meme that is hurting the president is this issue of age. It’s a big barrier.”
He continued, stating, “People don’t give him credit for what he’s done. They blame him for everything that happens and a lot of it has to do with their feelings about his age. So it’s not wise to say to a reporter, ‘That’s your interpretation.’ It’s not. There’s reams of polling material about this.”
Axelrod concluded his point, saying, “But I’m not sure that he solved his problem tonight.”
Later in the segment, the former Obama official responded to arguments saying that Biden’s gaffes at the presser – like getting the President of Egypt confused with the President of Mexico – are mistakes anyone can make when public speaking.
“It is true, all of us make mistakes at times, and misstate things. We’re human beings,” Axelrod said, adding, “The problem is this has become a real thing. Now, every time the president does that, it becomes a story. It becomes the thing and it goes viral on social media, where he’s getting pounded on this age issue, particularly among younger people.”
Read the full story here.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.