GOP Highlights Gaffes to Target Biden's Competence (Newsmax)
By Theodore Bunker | Wednesday, 05 October 2022 11:40 AM EDT
President Joe Biden's recent gaffes have become fodder for Republicans looking to cast doubt on his competence ahead of the upcoming midterms and the 2024 presidential election, The Hill reports.
The Republican National Committee recently picked up on a slip Biden made last week when he asked if a recently-deceased congresswoman, Indiana Republican Jackie Walorski, was attending an event. The RNC included the moment on a list of Democrat fails from that week and criticized the White House for not confirming whether he apologized, though reports say that he did apologize to Walorski's family later after signing a bill honoring her.
"It's not a great look," an unnamed Democratic strategist told the Hill. "And we all know it only feeds into the criticism of the president and his age. [Biden] has to be really careful to not give the other side easy fodder."
GOP lobbyist Bruce Mehlman, who served in former President George W. Bush's administration, said that "Biden gaffes are mostly exploited by opponents as evidence of senescence rather than for the substance of the statements themselves."
Republican strategist Doug Heye told the Hill, "Part of the challenge with what Biden said about Walorski is that it was just completely mishandled by the White House. It's very easy and it's the obvious thing to do to just say, 'he misspoke' and then you move on. But by continuing to do the 'front of mind' thing, it stretched any credibility and made it a bigger issue than it was."
Some Democrat strategists dismissed Biden's gaffes as overblown, saying that they won't have a sizable impact on voters.
"The RNC may have some fun with it, they may be giving themselves high fives, but in the end I don't think it makes much of a difference at all," said Democratic consultant Jim Manley. "Everyone knows he has a habit of misspeaking from time to time."
Another unnamed Democrat strategist said, "It's already baked in. People elected Joe Biden knowing he can put his foot in his mouth. It's like pointing out that Donald Trump lies. People know this about him and I don't think it makes much difference."
They added, "Sure, Republicans will use this against him and they should. But it won't matter."