President Biden is “very focused on details,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg insisted — after the 80-year-old commander in chief confused Ukraine and Iraq twice in 12 hours.
The Cabinet member defended Biden after being asked, “What do you say to people who are concerned about his age, and slip-ups like the one he had today?” by CNN host Kaitlan Collins.
“Well, what I’d say is I wish you could be in a room with him, the way I often am, seeing how he is simultaneously focused, on a big-picture vision, and very focused on details,” Buttigieg said.
“Look, this is an administration that has been extraordinarily effective. And, one of the — frankly, one of the cases that I made, back when I was running for president at an unusually young age, is that the only thing that really matters is your ability to do the job,” the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., added.
Biden, already the oldest president in US history, announced in April that he will run for re-election in 2024 despite mounting questions about his mental acuity.
If re-elected, the president would be 86-years-old by the end of his second term.
On Wednesday, Biden told reporters on the White House lawn that “[Putin’s] clearly losing the war in Iraq.”
The night before, while speaking at a fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Md., he made a similar error.
“Think about this,” Biden said. “If anybody told you — and my staff wasn’t so sure, either — that we’d be able to bring all of Europe together in the onslaught on Iraq and get NATO to be completely united, I think they would have told you it’s not likely.”
The president on Thursday faced a wave of online ridicule after he wandered off the set of a live MSNBC interview before host Nicolle Wallace could take the program to a commercial break.
Buttigieg argued that Americans should focus their attention on the Biden administration’s accomplishments rather than the gaffes.
“At the end of the day, anybody, in any job, ought to be judged on the job that they’re doing. And in just two and a half years, this administration, under President Biden’s leadership, has delivered more than many presidencies have been able to do in four or even eight years,” he said.