A House Democrat suggested Friday that the late hour of President Joe Biden's Thursday press conference—which was scheduled for 7:45 p.m.—was a reason for his poor performance.
The anonymous legislator told Axios that Biden's staff should not have scheduled the presser "that late at night after a full day," rather than Friday morning when he would be "fresh." The Democrat added that Biden's slip-ups during the presser were "awful."
One such slip-up came when Biden called Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi the "president of Mexico" when he discussed Israel's ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.
With the Thursday evening appearance, Biden meant to address the bad press following the release earlier that day of Special Counsel Robert Hur's report on his investigation of the president's handling of classified documents. Although the investigation turned up evidence that the president "willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency," Hur did not recommend prosecuting Biden, largely because he would appear to a jury "as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory."
During Biden's interview with investigators, the president had difficulty remembering when his term as vice president began and ended, as well as when his son, Beau, died, Hur revealed.
"I'm well-meaning, and I'm an elderly man, and I know what the hell I'm doing," Biden said in response to that account at the presser. He also asked, "How in the hell dare he raise that," in response to the detail about his recollection of his son's death.
Earlier this week, Biden repeatedly appeared to mistakenly claim that he had a conversation at a 2021 meeting with European leaders who died years before. In a Sunday speech, he confused French president Emmanuel Macron for François Mitterrand, who served in the office between 1981 and 1995 before he died in 1996. In two speeches Wednesday, he confused German chancellor Angela Merkel for Helmut Kohl, who held that position from 1982 to 1998 and died in 2017.
Americans for months have been concerned about Biden's age. An August poll from the Associated Press saw 77 percent of respondents say Biden's age made him unable to "effectively serve" another presidential term. A week later, 73 percent of voters in a Wall Street Journal poll said Biden was too old to run for another four years.