A FORMER White House physician has told reporters that he believes Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden does not have the cognitive ability to be commander-in-chief.
Ronny Jackson, 53, who himself is running for Congress as a Republican, made the claims on Tuesday during a call organized by the Trump campaign.
Jackson said: “I’m pretty familiar with what it takes both physically and cognitively to do that job and what the demands of that job are.
He added: “As a citizen, not as a candidate running for Congress, but as a citizen of this country, I’ve watched Joe Biden on the campaign trail and I am concerned and convinced that he does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability, to serve as our commander-in-chief and our head of state.”
Jackson served in the White House medical unit under George W. Bush.
He was then appointed Physician to the President under Barack Obama and President Trump before he was nominated to serve as Secretary of Veteran Affairs in March 2018.
However, Jackson, a Navy rear admiral who once claimed Trump could live to be 200 years old, was forced to withdraw his nomination after he was accused of drinking on the job and over-prescribing drugs, which he strongly denies.
The 53-year-old said that if Biden, 77, were to win his presidential battle against Donald Trump, there should be “some type of cognitive testing before he takes over the reigns as our commander in chief.”
Questioning Biden’s mental fitness has become a tactic of Trump and his campaign over recent months.
Jackson pointed to instances on Monday, when Biden, who was campaigning in Ohio, could not remember the name of Senator Mitt Romney.
Biden also said he was running for the Senate, not the presidency.
The former Vice President has himself joked that he is a “gaffe machine,” but Jackson said such mistakes are “not the typical gaffes.”
When presented with Jackson’s claims, a Biden spokesperson told the New York Post that voters need only to look at the first presidential debate, where Trump frequently spoke over his rival and was criticized for his performance.
Jackson – who is running as the GOP nominee to represent Texas’s 13th Congressional District – also made clear that his criticism of Biden was not because of his advanced age, adding that some people approaching 100 could still be as sharp as a tack.
But Biden, he said, is not that sharp, stating: “This is a demanding job from a cognitive standpoint, you have to be locked on, you have to be articulate, you have to process lots and lots of information and multitask.
“And right now he’s having a really extreme time just focusing on the one task at hand that he has when he stands up in front of voters and tries to explain something.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s deputy national security adviser, K.T. McFarland, who was also on the call, said that she thought Biden’s cognitive ability could harm the U.S. abroad.
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McFarland said: “I don’t see that Vice President Biden either appreciates how the world has changed over the past 10 years with China and its ambitions and its capabilities, or his willingness to stand up to them since he’s so dismissive of China as a threat.”
On Monday night at a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, President Trump echoed these concerns, stating his Democratic would not be up to the task for dealing with leaders in the likes of North Korea, China and Russia.
Trump said: “They’re 100 percent sharp. We have somebody running that’s not 100 percent, he’s not 80 percent, he’s not 60 percent.”