CNN, the same media outlet that calls it “offensive and otherworldly” for conservatives to question Joe Biden’s fitness to serve as president, is praising his running mate for being ready to replace him if he “steps aside.”
Biden’s announcement on Tuesday that he chose Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate set off a wave of media praise for the Democrat vice-presidential candidate. In noting her selling points, CNN said Harris’ resume suggests she will be “ready to step in if and when Biden decides to step aside.”
Why Biden might decide to step aside wasn’t specified. No US president has stepped aside since Richard Nixon resigned amid the Watergate scandal in 1974, and no other president has been replaced since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Nor was it made clear why a network that has promoted Biden’s candidacy would do so while contemplating his exit before his four-year term ends.
Plenty of Republicans have raised such questions about the 77-year-old Biden, particularly regarding his cognitive abilities after a series of speaking gaffes on the campaign trail. Conservative radio host Michael Savage has said that Biden isn’t really running for president because his VP pick will take over the job within three months. Radio host Ben Shapiro said Biden is “falling apart.”
CNN host Brian Stelter blasted such criticism on Sunday. As he prepared to show a series of conservative commentators challenging Biden’s mental or physical fitness, he said: “What you are about to hear them say is mind-boggling, but look, whether you like Biden or not, this stuff is offensive and otherworldly.”
A CNN opinion piece on Monday said Fox News footage of Biden riding a bike on Saturday “utterly devastated” allegations that Biden lacked the stamina and mental capacity needed for the job.
Voters appear to be more in line with the side of CNN’s mouth that prioritizes the VP pick’s readiness to serve as president, rather than the side that suggests it’s preposterous to raise questions. Some 59 percent of all likely voters and 49 percent of Democrats say Biden probably won’t finish his four-year term if he wins the election in November, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday. A total of 73 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents agreed that it’s likely Biden’s running mate would become president sometime during his term.