Karine Jean-Pierre refuses to answer question about Biden’s mental fitness after he said he met French president who died 28 years ago

Karine Jean-Pierre refuses to answer question about Biden’s mental fitness after he said he met French president who died 28 years ago

  • Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shut down questions about Biden’s gaffe 
  • ‘I’m not even going to go down that rabbit hole with you, sir,’ she said Tuesday
  • Republicans are keen to highlight each stumble as a sign of declining health 

The White House on Tuesday refused to be drawn into questions about President Joe Biden‘s fitness for the job, a day after he appeared to claim he spoke recently to a French head of state who died in the 1990s.

The incident came during a speech in Las Vegas, when Biden recounted a conversation with world leaders in the United Kingdom in 2021.

‘I said: “America’s back,'” he recalled.

‘And Mitterrand from Germany, I mean from France, looked at me and said: ‘You know, how long you back for?”‘

In fact, President Francois Mitterrand died in 1996, as Fox News Peter Doocy pointed out during the White House daily briefing a day later when he asked Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre how the president would address some three-quarters of the population concerned about his physical and mental health.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to be drawn into questions about Joe Biden’s fitness, a day after he claimed he spoke recently to a French president who died in the 1990s

‘I’m not even going to go down that rabbit hole with you, sir,’ was her brief response.

When Doocy objected that it wasn’t a rabbit hole, she expanded her answer, listing Biden’s busy recent itinerary.

‘You saw the president in Vegas, in California,’ she said. ‘You’ve seen the president in South Carolina. You saw him in Michigan. I’ll just leave it there.’

The episode only served to highlight Biden’s increasing age. At 81 he is already the oldest president in history, and he is running for another term that would keep him in office until the age of 86.

A DailyMail.com poll last year found that 70 percent of voters thought Biden was too old to be president. That included more than half of Democrats, showing the challenge he faces as he campaigns for a second term.

Each gaffe is seized on, fairly or unfairly, that his age is getting in the way of his ability to do the job, 

Rather than Mitterrand, he was in fact talking to President Emmanuel Macron at that 2021 summit, a blunder made worse by Biden’s pedigree in foreign affairs.

He knows Macron, elected in 2017 at the age of 39, well: Macron is the youngest president in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon.

Biden also met Mitterrand back when the future American president was a young senator.

French president Francois Mitterrand visited the Bay Area in 1984. Biden met him during his long career although they certainly did not cross paths in England in 2021

French president Francois Mitterrand visited the Bay Area in 1984. Biden met him during his long career although they certainly did not cross paths in England in 2021

Biden knows the current President of France, Emmanuel Macron (pictured), well. He is the youngest president in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon

Biden knows the current President of France, Emmanuel Macron (pictured), well. He is the youngest president in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon

Some 49 percent of Democrats admit Joe Biden is too old to be president in our poll of likely 2024 voters from last year. Only 28 percent believe he is just the right age

Some 49 percent of Democrats admit Joe Biden is too old to be president in our poll of likely 2024 voters from last year. Only 28 percent believe he is just the right age

Mitterrand took office in 1981, when the current French president was three years old.

Biden, as chair of the European Affairs Committee, met Mitterrand in January 1988 while discussing a Soviet nuclear weapons treaty.

Mitterrand was president until 1995, and died a year later, aged 79.

Biden’s confusion is just the latest gaffe for the famously folksy president, who had a stutter as a child and has referred to himself as a ‘gaffe machine.’

He has repeatedly said that his son Beau died in Iraq, instead of at Walter Reed, and in June 2023 muddled up the ongoing war in Ukraine for the Iraq War, which ended in 2011.

He declared that Vladimir Putin was ‘clearly losing the war in Iraq.’

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