Biden is likely headed for defeat to a lawless ex-president: Axelrod

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Photo: In this handout photo provided by ABC, U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with ‘This Week’ anchor George Stephanopoulos on July 05, 2024 in Madison, Wisconsin.

President Joe Biden‘s recent ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos has done little to quell growing concerns about his age and fitness for office, according to a scathing critique from David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama.

In a CNN opinion piece, Axelrod characterized Biden’s response to questions about his poor debate performance and low poll numbers as exhibiting “denial, delusion, and defiance.” The veteran political strategist’s comments come as Biden, 81, faces mounting pressure from within his own party to step aside amid fears of a potential landslide defeat to former President Donald Trump in November.

Axelrod zeroed in on Biden’s interview, during which the president struggled to explain his widely criticized June 27 debate performance against Trump. Biden offered multiple explanations for his poor showing, including a bad cold, exhaustion, and inadequate preparation, before ultimately conceding, “I just had a bad night, I don’t know why.”

“That, in a nutshell, is the Republican attack. That an aged Biden is not in control, and that’s why his debate misfire was so devastating,” Axelrod wrote, highlighting the gravity of Biden’s stumble.

The former Obama adviser expressed particular concern over Biden’s refusal to undergo an independent medical evaluation, including neurological and cognitive exams. Instead, the president insisted he takes a “cognitive test every day” through the demands of his office.

Maybe, but most Americans, having watched him lately, would grade him poorly on that score,” Axelrod countered.

Recent polls have painted a grim picture for Biden’s reelection prospects. Axelrod cited three separate surveys conducted by CNN, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, all showing Biden trailing Trump by six points nationwide. The president’s approval ratings have also sunk to historic lows, with 74% of Americans now deeming him too old to serve another term.

“At this rate, Biden is likely headed for a landslide defeat to a lawless and unpopular former president,”

“At this rate, Biden is likely headed for a landslide defeat to a lawless and unpopular former president,” Axelrod cautioned.

The former adviser’s critique reflects a growing unease among Democrats about Biden’s candidacy. Axelrod argued that if Biden truly believes this election is as consequential as he claims, the president should prioritize the country’s interests over his own political ambitions.

“Sometimes the Lord Almighty comes in the form of enlightened self-awareness,” Axelrod wrote, referencing Biden’s statement that only divine intervention could persuade him to exit the race.

In a particularly pointed observation, Axelrod noted, “The stakes are as great as Biden describes. And if he believes it, as I think he does, he will eventually do what duty and love of country requires, and step aside.”

Axelrod concluded with a stark warning: “If he does not, it will be Biden’s age, and not Trump’s moral and ethical void, that will dominate the rest of this most important campaign and sully the president’s historic legacy.”


Editor’s Note: David Axelrod is a CNN senior political commentator and host of “The Axe Files. ” He was a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and chief strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Obama presidential campaigns.

Newsweek

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