“I wrote this out, and it's very close to my heart. Because I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen down at 7/11 - down at the World Trade Center right after it came down. And I saw the greatest people I've ever seen in action.” Donald Trump, April 18, 2016
For months, Republicans have created a narrative that President Joe Biden is somehow mentally incompetent. They claimed he would be replaced after six months in office by Vice President Kamala Harris or Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Didn’t happen.
They’ve predicted he’ll be out after one year. Won’t happen. These claims seem to be based on the fact that Biden sometimes stumbles over words when he’s speaking. There’s a good reason for that.
When Biden was young, he had a severe stutter, which he worked hard to overcome. One technique is to pause and clarify just what you are going to say. This isn’t a sign of mental slowness; it’s a method to communicate clearly.
Biden can even laugh at himself when he stumbles. He recognizes that he can make a mistake.
In contrast, former President Donald Trump has a hard time making sense even when he can pronounce the words, such as his praise for the first responders of “7/11.” Here are more examples of Trump’s struggles to express himself. And of course, Trump never admits that he’s made a mistake.
Oct. 13, 2017 – At a Values Voter summit, Trump said, “I met with the president of the Virgin Islands.” He apparently forgot the Virgin Islands are a U.S. Territory, making him their president. Did he hold a meeting with himself? With Trump, anything is possible.
March 22, 2018 – In one of his famous renaming ceremonies, Trump introduced the CEO of Lockheed Martin. Praising business leaders, Trump said, “I may ask Marillyn Lockheed, the leading women's business executive in this country.” Her name is Marillyn Hewson.
Oct. 23, 2018 – Trump apparently decided to promote his national security adviser, John Bolton, to singing star, telling reporters, “Mike Bolton, as you know, is in Russia.” Can John Bolton even carry a tune?
Nov 18, 2018 – Trump visited a California town which had been destroyed in a terrible forest fire. In a truly disgusting memory lapse, he couldn’t remember the name of the town where 85 people died and 11,000 homes were destroyed. Twice he called it “Pleasure.” “What we saw at Pleasure, what a name…. We just left Pleasure.” The governor had to remind him the town’s name was Paradise. Trump never apologized for his mistake.
March 6, 2019 – In another renaming ceremony, at an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting, Trump was talking to the CEO of Apple. Trump called him “Tim Apple,” clearly confusing him with the company. The CEO’s name is Tim Cook. Again, no acknowledgement of the mistake.
April 2, 2019 – Trump was discussing the beginnings of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He told reporters, “I hope they now go and take a look at the oranges, the oranges of the investigation, the beginnings of that investigation…. the Mueller report I wish covered the oranges of how it started.” After several tries, he was still unable to say the word “origins.” Both funny and sad.
May 19, 2019 – On May 19, Mrs. Trump returned home from the hospital after a brief stay. Trump tweeted this welcome: “Great to have our incredible First Lady back home in the White House. Melanie is feeling and doing really well.” Her name is Melania.
July 4, 2019 – During a speech, Trump praised the actions of the Continental Army. He said, “In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army…. Our army manned the air…. It took over the airports.” The Continental Army had no airports or airplanes in 1775.
There are countless more examples, but these show how much difficulty Trump has just making sense. A new book, “Peril,” describes how dangerously unhinged Trump became during the last few weeks of his presidency. Trump also believes the treacherous fantasy that he will soon be restored to the White House, which is legally impossible. Sadly, his supporters ignore his mental decline. Their love truly is blind.
This is a man millions of Americans think should still be president, a man who has trouble even reading off a TelePrompter. Biden may speak a little slowly, but he is comprehensible. All Trump can manage is confusion and delusion, and there’s nothing funny about that.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.