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Biden Says He’s Eager To Match ‘Cognitive Capability’ With Trump


Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday delivered a speech in which he mirrored President Trump’s attacks on his own cognitive abilities, saying he “can hardly wait” for the debates while criticizing the president for his response to alleged Russian bounties on U.S. troops and for retweeting a video in which a man said “white power.”


“This president talks about cognitive capability. He doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on,” Biden said of Trump’s denials that he was briefed on alleged Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers. 

Biden added that, “the president has a lot to answer for,” and said if the allegations are true, “the public should conclude that this man isn’t fit to be president.”

Asked about his polling, which shows him far ahead of Trump nationally and in most swing states, Biden said “the polling data is very good” but hedged that it is “much too early to make any judgment” and that there is “a whole lot more work to do.”

Biden expressed confidence about his upcoming debates with Trump, saying he “can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

Biden also said he has committed to the three debates with Trump proposed by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Citing the coronavirus outbreak, Biden said he is “going to follow the doc’s orders” and not hold rallies, in contrast to Trump who has already held several rallies in June, but touted his in-person retail campaigning to small groups of voters in which “I get in, make my case, take questions and leave.”

Key Background

Biden holds a wide lead over Trump in the polls, with the RealClearPolitics average putting him 10 points up, outpacing Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama at this stage of their respective races. He also consistently leads in swing state polls, with recent polls of historically Republican states like Texas, Georgia and Arizona putting him ahead as well.

Big Number

200 million. Biden claimed that’s how many people his team told him have tuned into his virtual events. “The irony is we probably reached more people directly, one-on-one,” Biden said of virtual campaigning. 

Key Quote

“Stop appealing to the less healthy side of society,” Biden said of Trump retweeting of a video in which a man chants “white power,” which he called “race-baiting.” He added that he would unify the country by “appealing to the better side of human nature.”

What To Watch For

Biden said his running mate will be named in “early August… several weeks before the convention,” but added that he “can’t guarantee August 1,” the date he gave in May for when he hoped to announce his pick. He said he has begun the process of deep background checks, and that everyone he is vetting has “at least some exposure to foreign policy and national defense issues,” adding that he’s looking for someone with the “intellectual capacity, temperament and leadership qualities” that suggest “they would be ready on day one to be president.”

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