Biden v. Trump: The battle over who’s too old, too forgetful or too confused

It was always headed here, with President Joe Biden in his 80s and Donald Trump not far behind. But in the span of a few days, the wrinkled and sagging reality staring the nation in the face has become the defining issue of the 2024 campaign.

Following special counsel Robert Hur’s controversial characterization of Biden as a “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” Trump assailed Biden’s “hazy memory,” dusted off his “Sleepy Joe” moniker from 2020 and told a crowd, “I don’t think he knows he’s alive.”

Republicans accused Biden’s handlers of committing “ elder abuse” by allowing him to field reporters’ questions about the Hur report. Biden’s campaign, for its part, took to not so subtly suggesting Trump may be struggling with diminished cognition, frequently calling him “confused.”

And Trump’s own last GOP rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, has made both Biden’s and Trump’s age an issue, renewing her calls for mandatory cognitive tests for politicians over the age of 75.

Unlike in years past, when propriety dictated treading cautiously

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