22:57 GMT28 February 2021
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    Joe Biden’s never-ending flow of verbal gaffes is taking increasingly blatant forms and drawing more and more attention to his cognitive abilities. The former vice president’s latest slip-up, just like the previous ones, was immediately weaponised by Donald Trump.

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has proved to be a gaffe-making machine: the latest confusing remark to roll off his assembly line suggested that Democrats “can only re-elect” Donald Trump.

    Speaking at a Kansas City rally on Saturday, a visibly confused Biden said: “We cannot get re-elect – we cannot win this re-election – excuse me – we can only re-elect Donald Trump.”

    The video was posted by a palm-rubbing Trump War Room and immediately retweeted by the President himself to an audience of tens of millions.

    Biden also referred to himself as a “life-long Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obiden Bama Democrat,” whatever that means.

    ​This is not the first time one of Biden’s slip-ups has made headlines: just last month, he claimed that 150 million people had been killed by gun violence since 2007. His campaign clarified that he meant to say 150 thousand.

    Another viral video showed him calling himself “a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate”, telling the audience to “vote for the other Biden” if they did not like what they saw.

    Biden’s problem with gaffes has been a recurring issue; he has blamed it on a stutter which he claims he has struggled with since childhood.

    However, with the presidential race picking up momentum, many observers, including journalists and supporters of his rivals, have interpreted these remarks as a sign of declining cognitive ability due to his age (Biden turned 78 in November).

    A Saturday article in Politico by John F. Harris described the 2020 election cycle as the “dementia campaign”, and prominent figures including Jill Stein and Glenn Greenwald have suggested that Biden is in a cognitive decline. His supporters framed the criticism as mere political attacks.

    However, some are using this tactic against the president himself. “A few stumbled words are not the same as the extreme danger that result from a list of signs that Donald Trump has shown,” psychiatrist Bandy Lee of the Yale Medical School told Yahoo News, “and none of them apply to Joe Biden”.

    Biden has never publicly dismissed the allegations; his campaign has published a medical report which stated that he is fit for office. However, it did not include a cognitive functioning test.

    Biden himself has taken comments about his mental acuity lightly, saying in a January interview: “It would be a totally legitimate thing for people to say, ‘Let’s look at Biden. He would be the oldest guy to ever be president. See what kind of shape he’s in, mentally, physically and the rest.’”

    “And it may be that I develop some problem and I'm not capable of doing that. But that is not — I think it's probably the least consequential of any election because of who you're running against, in all probability.”

    mental health, dementia, election, Donald Trump, US, Joe Biden
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