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Former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden managed to trend heavily on social media over the weekend after a Fox News reporter caught him riding a bike.
As Biden, 77, rode past near his home in Delaware, correspondent Peter Doocy shouted out, “Mr. Vice President have you picked a running mate yet?”
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) August 8, 2020
Biden responded, “Yeah, I have.”
“You have? Who is it?” Doocy asked.
“You,” Biden joked as he biked on past.
The vice president’s supporters hailed the clip as proof that he’s not the infirm, confused candidate hiding in a basement that the Trump campaign has portrayed him as being.
“Biden looks pretty spry on that bike,” Daily Beast editor-at-large Molly Jong-Fast noted.
A number of other users contrasted Biden’s biking to President Donald Trump, whom they claimed would never be able to match the feat.
1. Apparently there is a VP pick
2. Imagine Trump trying to ride a bike in this heat.
3. Biden is 8,000 years old and exercising in the hot sun while wearing a MASK! So everyone can SHUT THE F UP about masks. https://t.co/I6YIFZt9Ge
— Tom D'Angora #BidenHarris #BLM (@TomDangora) August 8, 2020
77 years old , 6 feet tall , 181 pounds
Tall tan slim cool
— Cynthia Crawford (@cjoanne02) August 8, 2020
Others, however, were not impressed. Some believed that the ride was simply staged to counter the Trump campaign’s narrative, while other Americans opined that managing a bike ride has little to do with cognitive ability, the latter of which certainly appears to be declining in the aged Biden.
Biden rode a bike, media ecstatichttps://t.co/aaASo54aPx
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 8, 2020
Does anyone realize how ludicrous this is?
We’re excited that one of the dude’s who might sit in the Oval Office can do turns freely on a BICYCLE? THAT’S our benchmark for competency?
This reads like an Onion article!
— 🌹🌻💚 (@rubyclaire63) August 8, 2020
the charge is that he has dementia, which is unrelated to being able to ride a bike
— 🌐The Institute for Progressive Memetics (@IPM_HQ) August 8, 2020
While the clip managed to inject at least some enthusiasm into the otherwise lackluster Biden campaign, Americans are going to want to see both candidates face off against each other on a debate stage, and that is obviously worrisome to his handlers and allies in the media.
Last month, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman provided some cover for the Biden camp when he suggested that the former VP should not debate Trump unless two conditions are met: That the president release his tax returns and agree to real-time “fact-checking.”
“Only if leading into the debate, American voters have a clear picture of Trump’s tax returns alongside Biden’s, and only if, coming out of the debate, they have a clear picture of who was telling the truth and who was not, will they be able to make a fair judgment between the two candidates,” wrote Friedman.
“That kind of debate and only that kind of debate would be worthy of voters’ consideration and Biden’s participation. Otherwise, Joe, stay in your basement.”
The New York Times is already making up excuses for Biden ducking the debates. pic.twitter.com/6u4MunifZb
— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) July 8, 2020
Friedman’s column was panned by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
“It turns out Tom Friedman is not really a genius. So, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. This is the most cynical election strategy ever devised or ever perpetrated on American voters,” he said during an early July program.
“Hide the candidate until Election Day, the country can find out what’s in the administration after it’s in power, but until then, no appearing in public, and my God, don’t ever tell the truth,” he continued.
“So will the Biden campaign take Tom Friedman’s advice? Well, of course, they will take it, because they have no choice. Biden is up in the polls as of right now, so they can’t let him talk. That could wreck everything.”
Earlier this year, President Trump alluded to the former vice president’s increasingly obvious mental decline in an interview with Sharyl Attkisson.
Asked what he thought Biden’s “strongest feature as a competitor in politics” was, the president responded, “Well I would have said experience but he doesn’t really have experience because I don’t think he remembers what he did yesterday.”
Last month, a Rasmussen survey found that 38 percent of voters believe that Biden is suffering from early dementia, while 61 percent said “it is important for him to address the dementia issue publicly.”
And this month, former White House physician Dr. Ronnie Jackson laced the media for mocking President Trump’s recent glowing cognitive test results while refuse to push for Biden to be given a similar test.
“When @realDonaldTrump scored 100% on the cognitive test I gave him, the liberal media tried to destroy my career because they said the test I gave him was ‘too easy.’ Well where’s the liberal media now for Biden? Why won’t he take a cognitive test?” Jackson wrote online.
A one-time short bike ride won’t answer that question. But debating certainly could.
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