Democrats launch an aggressive defense of Biden against questions about his memory and age

AP

Democratic allies of U.S. President Joe Biden have launched an aggressive defense against the controversial claims of a special prosecutor, who suggested that the 81-year-old president cannot recall significant events in his life. They seek to dismiss the prosecution's allegations that Biden has too weak a memory to be charged with mishandling classified documents.

Biden set an angry tone hours after the release of the report by special counsel Robert Hur, dismissing the report's conclusions about his memory and insisting that he had not forgotten the year his son Beau died, as Hur claimed. Democrats from Capitol Hill and across the country quickly followed suit.

"Republicans saying Biden is old is the least surprising thing in American politics," said Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii. "It's all they've got."

More: Kamala Harris asserts that the report on President Biden's memory is "politically motivated"

Democrats plan to counter widespread questions about the president's age and fitness by asserting that Biden is capable of being commander in chief and attempting to discredit those depicting him as weakened. A key element of that strategy is to contrast Biden with former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, who is already 77 years old and has also confused facts and names while facing four criminal charges and several multibillion-dollar civil lawsuits.

Expressions of support are crucial for Biden as he prepares for what could be a closely contested election against Trump. Even before the report's release, there were growing fears that the coalition that helped elect Biden in 2020 was crumbling, making it even more important for Biden to keep as many supporters as possible firmly on his side.

Biden's campaign team circulated talking points among its allies, obtained by The Associated Press. These points refer to Hur, a former U.S. attorney in the Trump administration, as a "MAGA-appointed lawyer who has no arguments, so he decided to launch personal attacks against the president." MAGA stands for "Make America Great Again," Trump's political movement.

The talking points also highlight that Hur is "a lawyer, not a doctor, so people should draw their legal conclusions and overlook his political opinions."

More: Republicans seek Biden's removal through the 25th Amendment following reports of his poor memory

The White House has also pointed out that Biden cooperated with Hur, who declined to charge him with illegally withholding classified documents, while Trump faces charges in Florida after the FBI seized records at his Mar-a-Lago residence.

"The way the president's conduct was characterized in that report could not have been more wrong in terms of the facts or more clearly gratuitous and politically motivated," said Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday. "I would say that when it comes to the role and responsibility of a prosecutor in a situation like that, we should expect a higher level of integrity than what we saw."

The outrage reached South Carolina, where Biden secured a resounding victory in the nation's first Democratic primary election on February 3, designated by his campaign team to project clear strength. Some view Biden's vigorous response as a promising sign.