A senior Republican senator on Tuesday branded President Joe Biden mentally “incapacitated” and said he should resign, in a taste of the expected brutal campaigning ahead of midterm elections this year.
Senator Rick Scott, who heads the Republican senators’ campaign organization and has become a key target for Biden’s own election message that his opponents are extremists, issued a statement calling the president “unfit.”
“Let’s be honest here. Joe Biden is unwell. He’s unfit for office. He’s incoherent, incapacitated and confused. He doesn’t know where he is half the time. He’s incapable of leading and he’s incapable of carrying out his duties,” Scott said.
“Everyone knows it. No one is willing to say it. But we have to, for the sake of the country. Joe Biden can’t do the job,” he said.
The claim that Biden — at 79 the oldest person ever to be US president — is senile has been a key Republican attack line since Donald Trump’s failed campaign to keep hold of the presidency in 2020.
It is echoed regularly on Fox News and by Trump, who despite his defeat and unprecedented attempt to overturn the results of the election continues to remain the party’s most influential force.
Confronted by a reporter with Scott’s statement, Biden smiled and said: “I think the man has a problem.”
The senator’s comment comes as Biden increasingly makes Scott the face of a campaign to paint the Republican party as taken over by Trump extremists on social and economic issues.
In a speech Tuesday, Biden warned again that a proposed economic plan issued by Scott would raise taxes on lower income people and throw into doubt the continuation of state medical care for the poor and elderly.
“It’s the ultra-MAGA agenda,” Biden said, referring to Trump’s Make America Great Again brand.