Even in his basement, Joe Biden bungles.
If it wasn’t already obvious by the tracking of his eyes and the cadence of his speech, the Democratic presidential nominee confirms his addiction to scripts by regularly reading parts of his notes that he’s not supposed to say.
“End of quote,” he said in the middle of a talk attacking President Trump. “Look, Venezuela topline message is . . .” he said during an interview with NBC Miami. He even reads the headings of talking-point notes from his handlers.
Indeed, Biden seems unable to get through any interview without scripts: During countless TV spots, viewers can see him looking down at his notes while he answers questions — a mistake routinely avoided by politicians with a hundredth of Biden’s decades of experience. (The Trump campaign has collected a series of such footage.)
And during what are supposed to look like real conversations, as in one with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a supporter, he motions to staff to move the teleprompter text.
He did the same thing in a recent speech: “And uh, in addition to that, uh, in addition to that, we have to, uh, make sure that we, uh, we are in a position that we are, well, let me, let me go to the second thing. I’ve spoke enough on that,” he said as he made hand gestures to tell aides he needed the teleprompter moved.
It’s even more notable when you realize how rarely Biden makes himself available, especially to probing reporters. Al Sharpton seems to have given him questions ahead of time for an MSNBC appearance, judging from the ready answers Biden had. (MSNBC has been particularly helpful to him: It cropped his script out of the photo it aired of Biden calling Kamala Harris to ask her to be his running mate.)
For all the ex-veep’s long history of gaffes, this is new for Biden. Maybe it’s simply an overelaborate effort to avoid prompting questions about his mental acuity — or maybe it’s an effort to conceal just how much he’s lost off his fastball.
If he’s going to inspire confidence among the voters, Biden needs to get out a lot more — and leave his scripts behind.
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