White House dodges questions on Biden's mental state after dismal debate

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Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Tuesday dodged questions over President Biden’s mental state in the first briefing at the White House since his poor debate performance.

When peppered with questions over the debate, she noted that the president has received medical examinations, which have been made public, and that he will keep traversing the country throughout the 2024 campaign.

“This is why we’re going to go out there and continue to go out there and do interviews and talk to the American people. At the end of the day … the American people will see for themselves,” she said.

She added that Biden “has worked incredibly hard for the American people” and is “committed” to continuing his leadership.

She noted that the president has upcoming public engagements, including two unscripted events — a solo press conference at next week’s NATO summit in Washington, D.C., and an interview with ABC.

The announcement of the unscripted events comes as Democrats, including Biden ally Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), have called for him to conduct more interviews and impromptu events since the debate.

“We’re going to turn the page, we’re going to get out there across the country, Americans are going to see him for themselves,” Jean-Pierre said.

While taking questions on his ability to serve as president, Jean-Pierre declared, “I think I’ve litigated this a lot already in the briefing.”

She also multiple times acknowledged that it was “a bad night” for Biden and stressed that she is taking the questions about Biden’s ability to serve seriously, while some Democrats have expressed that the campaign is dismissing concerns post-debate.

“I see it as a legitimate question, I do and I understand, it is a fair question to ask. The president sees it as a legitimate question,” she said. “We are acknowledging what people are seeing.”

The president’s poor performance in the debate, during which he struggled to finish sentences and spoke in a quiet, raspy voice, has led to shock and panic among Democrats, with some operatives, former aides and a House Democrat calling on him to step aside.

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