Biden's 'watch me moment' will haunt him in 2024 after recent fall, Republican strategists say

3 months ago 2

Republican strategists are increasing progressively acrophobic implicit President Biden's quality to serve the federation aft helium took a tumble past week astatine an Air Force event, little than a twelvemonth aft helium told voters to "watch me" if they don't judge helium has what it takes to fulfill his duties for different word successful office.

Several Republicans person questioned whether the 80-year-old Biden – the oldest idiosyncratic to service arsenic president of the U.S. – is physically and mentally up to the aggravated demands of the White House for different 4 years. However, galore of those questioning his abilities had done truthful good earlier helium fell astatine the commencement ceremonial astatine the U.S. Air Force Academy successful Colorado past Thursday.

Last November, portion fielding questions from reporters astatine the White House, Biden dismissed concerns from two-thirds of American voters who said successful a canvass that helium shouldn't question re-election. "What is your connection to them and however does that origin into your last determination astir whether oregon not to tally for re-election?" 1 newsman asked astatine the time. 

"It doesn't" Biden replied. Asked erstwhile much astatine the clip what his connection would beryllium to those who reason his endeavors to question different term, Biden said, "Watch me."


Joe Biden looking down

Last November, erstwhile asked what his connection would beryllium to voters who didn't privation him to question re-election, Biden said, "Watch me." (Jim Watson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Some Republicans who person watched, however, archer Fox News Digital that they are not impressed.

"We are each doing precisely what President Biden told america to do. We’re watching and listening to him, and we’re present much acrophobic than ever. He dismissed valid concerns astir his quality to pb astatine his property and fixed helium has Vice President Kamala Harris adjacent successful line, who can’t get done a written code without getting mislaid and embarrassing herself, we each should beryllium profoundly concerned," said Jason Rantz, a Fox News contributor and vigor host.

"The assemblage and caput deteriorate arsenic we get older. It’s normal. But helium won’t admit it and that makes it look similar he’s hiding adjacent much issues," Rantz added.

Similarly, Giancarlo Sopo, a Republican media strategist, said Biden's autumn would not person had specified an interaction connected voters if "things were moving smoothly."

"While I americium gladsome that President Biden was not hurt, his carnal diminution would not beryllium arsenic large of a governmental liability for him if things were moving smoothly," Sopo said. "However, implicit 70% of Americans judge our state is connected the incorrect way and Biden’s occupation support ratings are astatine historical lows. Politicians usually spell connected charm offensives to amended their numbers, but that is not an enactment astatine his disposal. Democrats cognize this, which is wherefore they are terrified of moving against a young energetic leader, similar Gov. Ron DeSantis."

President Biden fell from his motorcycle  successful  Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

President Biden falls to the crushed aft riding up to members of the nationalist during a motorcycle thrust successful Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, June 18, 2022.  (Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz)

Reflecting connected Biden's November remarks, Fox News contributor and civilian rights lawyer Leo Terrell said, "Biden’s ‘watch me’ infinitesimal is haunting him close present wrong his ain party."

"The elephant successful the country is the information that Democrats bash not privation Joe Biden to tally in the 2024 election. However, they are stuck with him," Terrell said. "Everyone knows Joe Biden is not mentally susceptible of being the person of the top federation connected earth. Can you ideate the fig of falls extracurricular the beingness of the public? It’s not conscionable the falls – Joe Biden cannot enactment a coherent condemnation together. The satellite is witnessing a man, unfit mentally and physically, who hopes to stay successful the White House for different 5 1/2 years."

"The biggest nightmare is his replacement, Kamala Harris. She is the astir incompetent, unqualified vice president ever. If you tin get Democratic leaders wrong a silo, they volition archer you the truth. Kamala Harris is not qualified to pb this nation. Personally, I privation Joe Biden the champion wellness imaginable successful bid to debar a Kamala Harris presidency."

Colin Reed, a founding subordinate of South & Hill Strategies who served arsenic run manager for erstwhile Massachusetts GOP Sen. Scott Brown, said Biden's autumn past week "reinforces the narrative" that helium is excessively aged to stay successful the White House.

"In this epoch of integer and societal media, video reigns supreme, and the governmental optics of President Biden’s autumn are arsenic brutal arsenic they are long-lasting. It reinforces the communicative that helium is simply excessively aged for the job, a content held by astir 7 successful 10 voters and 1 that cuts crossed enactment and ideological lines," helium said. "The incidental is poised to jump-start a statement implicit debates and a broader treatment astir a Democratic superior challenge."

Biden fall

President Biden is helped up aft falling during the graduation ceremonial astatine the U.S. Air Force Academy successful Colorado connected June 1, 2023. (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

"Domestic authorities aside, we unrecorded successful a unsafe satellite and the show of an unsteady and fragile 80-year-old commandant successful main falling connected the nationalist signifier sends a unsafe connection to our geopolitical foes who privation our state harm," Reed added.

Kathy Barnette, the nationalist grassroots manager and advisor to Vivek Ramaswamy's 2024 statesmanlike campaign, said Biden's "inability to pb our state precedes his latest stumble implicit a sandbag – a sandbag, caput you, that had been connected signifier the full clip and countless others saw it and avoided it, until Biden."

"Biden’s ‘watch me’ mandate is indicative of conscionable however retired of interaction his full medication is to the expanding misery of American citizens," added Barnette, a Republican campaigner for Senate successful Pennsylvania past cycle. "He inherited an ostentation complaint of 1.7%, aft being successful bureau for little than 1 twelvemonth it jumped to 8% and present hovers astir 5%. Biden’s latest stumble is reflective of however he’s handling the country. Just similar him, we’re each watching the state stumble, and we fearfulness she whitethorn not beryllium capable to retrieve and get backmost up."

Despite interest from Republicans implicit his quality to serve, others, including Democratic strategists who are intimately monitoring the 2024 contention for the White House, importune "too overmuch is being made of the fall" and that Biden's accomplishments successful bureau – arsenic opposed to his carnal and intelligence abilities – are of much value to voters.


Boyd Matheson, the big of "Inside Sources" for KSL News Radio and the erstwhile main of unit to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said it would beryllium "a governmental mistake for Republicans to tally a contention railing against the president's property and wellness alternatively than moving a contention connected a imaginativeness for the future."

"Many Democrats are wringing their hands successful worry, portion galore Republicans are licking their chops astatine President Biden's autumn this week," helium said. "Both are missing the much important issue. Americans person dealt with a president successful a wheelchair, 1 that stumbled and bumped his caput often, 1 whose representation was opening to slice – conscionable to sanction a few. This predetermination volition beryllium based not connected property oregon frailties that travel with it. It volition beryllium based connected the spot and agility of an American docket to code the needs of the nation."

"Yes, the president volition person to beryllium his intelligence dexterity successful debates and showcase his grasp of the issues successful interviews portion being capable to confidently link successful his enactment with the American people," Matheson added. "The rigors of the occupation are existent and President Biden has had bully and atrocious moments implicit the past twelvemonth and radical volition instrumentality his situation to, 'watch me' seriously. 

"I deliberation the autumn is an embarrassing infinitesimal for a president who needs to look down and whose wellness is intelligibly fragile. Most voters accidental helium is excessively aged to tally again," said Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor.

"But much importantly, helium negotiated a bipartisan fund woody and had a bully jobs report, and those are much important to astir Americans," added Penn, who served arsenic a main strategist for the statesmanlike campaigns of erstwhile President Bill Clinton and erstwhile Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Kamala and Joe Biden clap during a White House conference

Vice President Harris and President Biden applaud during an lawsuit astatine the White House connected Feb. 2, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images))

Weighing successful connected the issue, Fox News contributor and Democratic strategist Jessica Tarlov said voters who are paying attraction to what Biden is doing are "seeing a slew of accomplishments."

"I deliberation excessively overmuch is being made of the fall," said Tarlov, who besides serves arsenic the caput of probe for Bustle. "If voters are watching Biden and the occupation he’s doing, they’re seeing a slew of accomplishments – indebtedness ceiling measure and unthinkable jobs study conscionable this week. Concerns astir his property are morganatic and helium shouldn’t debar them, but determination is nary grounds helium can’t govern. The autumn was unsightly and concerning, but doesn’t mean helium isn’t a hugely effectual president."

In agreement, Joe Trippi, a elder advisor to the Lincoln Project, said Biden's autumn could not overshadow the president's record.

"Time and clip again Joe Biden's contented and acquisition person resulted successful large bipartisan results for the American people," helium said. "The large effect past week was his enactment to crush the extremists successful the House of Representatives and execute an implicit 300 ballot bipartisan bulk fund agreement. His detractors volition absorption connected a stumble caused by a misplaced sandbag instead."


"Biden got up, dusted himself disconnected and went backmost to work. But possibly helium was close erstwhile helium quipped, ‘I was sandbagged!’ Watch what helium has achieved and however helium gets up, dusts himself disconnected and goes backmost to enactment to find communal crushed for each Americans," Trippi added.

Biden announced successful an April video connection that helium and Harris would question re-election adjacent twelvemonth to "finish the job" they started.

"When I ran for president 4 years ago, I said we are successful a conflict for the psyche of America – and we inactive are. The question we are facing is whether successful the years up we person much state oregon little freedom, much rights oregon fewer," Biden said successful the announcement.

Fox News' Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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