The New York Times is facing ridicule on Twitter after an article Sunday painted President Joe Biden’s old age in a positive light, describing the 80-year-old president as “sharp,” “fit” and having “striking stamina.”
The Times article, written by White House reporters Peter Baker, Michael Shear, Katie Rogers and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, titled “Inside the Complicated Reality of Being America’s Oldest President,” claimed Biden’s aides have been purposely limiting his exposure to the media to avoid any potential gaffes.
“The two Joe Bidens coexist in the same octogenarian president: Sharp and wise at critical moments, the product of decades of seasoning, able to rise to the occasion even in the dead of night to confront a dangerous world,” the article said. “Yet a little slower, a little softer, a little harder of hearing, a little more tentative in his walk, a little more prone to occasional lapses of memory in ways that feel familiar to anyone who has reached their ninth decade or has a parent who has.”
“Like many his age, Mr. Biden repeats phrases and retells the same story, often fact-challenged stories again and again,” the article continued. “He can be quirky; when children visit, he may randomly pull a book of William Butler Yeats off his desk and start reading Irish poetry to them.”
“At the same time, he is trim and fit, exercises five days a week and does not drink,” it added. “He has at times exhibited striking stamina, such as when he flew to Poland then boarded a nine-hour train ride to make a secret visit to Kyiv, spent hours on the ground, then endured another nine-hour train ride and a flight to Warsaw. A study of his schedule by Mr. Biden’s aides shows that he has traveled slightly more in the first few months of his third year in office than Mr. Obama did in his.”
Steve Guest, a special adviser for communications for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the article “embarrassing.”
News Cycle Media President Jon Nicosia called the article “slobbering.”
Former Obama speechwriter Jonathan Favreau, who now co-hosts “Pod Save America,” said the article was “pretty positive.”
National Review contributor Pradheep Shanker said the article was “not totally objective” but at least opened the door for questioning the president’s capabilities.
“Good for the Times to actually write this… It’s still not totally objective, but it’s a solid effort at least,” Shanker wrote. “I mean those is a positive spin at best. What’s more likely is that many, many of the presidential level decisions are not being made by Biden at all.”
Biden tripped and fell during a U.S. Air Force Academy commencement ceremony Thursday, prompting three Secret Service agents to rush to help the president up.
The White House said Thursday that Biden tripped over a sandbag and was not injured by the fall.
The fall reignited concerns about Biden’s age, prompting a number of media outlets to pounce and seize on Republicans voicing concerns about Biden’s physical health.