Monday, September 18, 2023

Given Donald Trump's recent struggles to speak coherently, should Americans be concerned more about HIS age and mental faculties than Biden's?

Donald Trump speaks at an event in South Dakota

President Joe Biden's age has become a significant news story as campaign activities for the 2024 election move toward high gear. Polls indicate a significant number of Americans are concerned that Biden's mental acuity, at age 80, is slipping, and he might not be able to carry out his duties for a full second term. It turns out, however, that Americans might be worried about the mental sharpness of the wrong candidate. After all, Biden's likely opponent, Republican Donald Trump, has made statements in recent days that indicate he believes he is running against Barack Obama in 2024. (Obama's presidency ended on Jan. 20, 2017, and he has never run against Trump.) Trump also apparently believes Biden, if re-elected, could lead the U.S. into World War II. (WWII ended in September 1945, roughly one year before Trump was born.)

Are voters concerned about Trump's age and mental acuity? Maybe they should be, several political observers noted after what has been called Trump's "word salad" performance at recent campaign events. Writes The Independent's Oliver O'Connell under the title "Trump serves up chaotic ‘word salad’ about Biden sparking ‘World War Two’ and running against Obama;’ I can only imagine the headlines if 80-year-old Biden had said this’." (The post includes a video of Trump's jumbled speech.):

In his latest gaffe-laden speech, Donald Trump appeared to suggest former President Barack Obama was running in 2024 as he warned that “cognitively impaired” President Joe Biden could lead the country into “World War Two” if he wins re-election.

During his remarks at the Washington DC Pray Vote Stand Summit on Friday, the former president said: “We have a man who is totally corrupt and the worst president in the history of our country, who is cognitively impaired, in no condition to lead, and is now in charge of dealing with Russia and possible nuclear war.”

“Just think of it. We would be in World War Two very quickly if we’re going to be relying on this man, and far more devastating than any war,” he continued as dramatic music swelled in the background.

“There will never be a war if that happens— there will never be a war like this. It will obliterate everything there is, everybody, it will obliterate every country.”

Trump has made this kind of statement before, but his words were even more tangled than usual this time, O'Connell reports:

In the past, Mr Trump has frequently said that Mr Biden would lead the country into the Third World War, and the gaffe may have gone unnoticed had he not continued to stumble over his words confusing his political opponents with each other.

The former president said he was beating Mr Obama, the 44th president, in the 2024 election polls and then appeared to suggest he had beaten him in 2016 before correcting himself that his opponent then was Hillary Clinton.

What was Trump trying to say? Many observers could only guess -- and wonder about his mental status, writes O'Connell:

Commentators on X, formerly known as Twitter, were left unimpressed and agog by Mr Trump’s “word salad” of a speech.

Former NBCUniversal executive Mike Sington posted: “Trump has lost it, he’s demonstrating how cognitively impaired he is. Watch him ramble, stumble on his words, blank out, then turn to reading the teleprompter to save himself, reading it intently. And he still misspeaks.”

The post includes a video, which Sington published on Twitter, showing Trump struggling to speak with any hint of clarity. Sington was not alone in his amazement at Trump's difficulty with a seemingly straightforward speech, writes O'Connell:

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan tweeted:” 77-year-old Trump last night was so confused and incoherent that he suggested Obama was his opponent in 2024, also suggested he beat Obama in 2016, and seemed to think we were on the verge of Word War *2*.”

He added: “I can only imagine the headlines if 80-year-old Biden had said this.”

Former Trump White House staffer, now co-host of The View, Alyssa Farah Griffin, wrote: “I’ve been outspoken over my concerns about Biden’s age. But being consistent: This is a word-salad mess. Trump seems confused about who he ran against in ‘16. He’s just 3 years younger than Biden.”

“America deserves better,” she concluded.

At another event on Friday, the former president also repeated the bizarre claim that Americans need to show ID to buy a loaf of bread.

Are these the most alarming statements from Trump's recent efforts to speak in public? No, and it is not even close. We will discuss his most troubling statements in an upcoming post.

(To be continued.)

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