Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) asked Buttigieg during a House hearing on Tuesday if he had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Biden from office.
“We now see the mainstream media questioning President Biden’s mental state and for good reason,” he said.
He went on, “Sadly, he shakes hands with ghosts and imaginary people. He falls off bicycles. Even at the White House Easter celebration, the Easter Bunny had to guide him back into his safe place. Cue cards that say ‘sit here’ or ‘end of speech’ which he actually reads, that is if he stays awake.”
“So my question for you is, sir, have you spoken with any other cabinet members about implementing the 25th Amendment on President Biden?” Nehls asked
Buttigieg responded, “First of all, I’m glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle. And I will look beyond the insulting nature of that question and make clear to you that the President of the United States…”
Nehls interjected to ask, ”Have you spoken to any other cabinet members about implementing the 25th Amendment on President Biden?”
“Of course not,” the Transportation secretary responded.
He went on, ”The President of the United States is as vigorous a colleague or boss as I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”
Watch the video below:
"First of all, I'm glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle." Sec. Pete Buttigieg defended President Biden's mental fitness in a heated exchange with Rep. Troy Nehls. pic.twitter.com/WaK2tBcVGE
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 19, 2022
The comments about bike riding refer to an incident last month when Biden fell off of his bike.
It’s not new for presidents to have embarrassing moments at home or abroad. President George H. W. Bush threw up on the Japanese prime minister in 1992. Former President Donald Trump was ridiculed for carefully walking down a ramp, his breathing, and gaffes.
In 2019, he repeatedly appeared to say “oranges” instead of “origins.”
So having chief executives who slip up and have embarrassing moments is not new. But it appears that for Biden, 79, the frequency with which such incidents occurs is starting to become a concern for many — even in his own party.
And it’s natural for members of the administration to defend the president — it would not be normal for them to say, ”Oh yeah, that geezer can barely speak or move without help.”
But it seems like there are ways they could defend his health and energy without such exaggerations.
Buttigieg and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre are both in their early 40s. However, both declared that Biden has a ton of energy. Indeed, Jean-Pierre told reporters, “I can’t even keep up with him.”
It strains credulity to think that a 79-year-old has more energy than someone who appears to be healthy and is 30 years younger.
And this answer may not be doing what they want it to do. Instead, it opens the door for people to ask, “If Biden really is that energetic and healthy, why does he rarely do public events after 5 p.m.? Why does he constantly just look and sound like he’s going to fall asleep while speaking? Why does he seem to struggle walking? Why does he barely hold press conferences? Why does he go on a foreign trip and then disappear from the public for three days?”
It seems like a more reassuring answer would just be to say that he’s fine and perfectly capable of carrying out the duties of the presidency.
But it was weird when people made similar grand claims about Trump’s health and vigor, and it’s weird with Biden.
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