After weeks of criticizing President Trump for not “doing enough” in the fight against the Covid-19 virus and suggesting the president take actions he had already taken, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden picked up the phone and called the White House. Given his confusion about so many things, perhaps he thought he was ordering a takeout meal and dialed the wrong number.
The president would not give details of their conversation, other than to say it was a “nice” call. Did Mr. Biden apologize for some of his criticisms of the president? Did he suggest the two take a unified approach to the virus and stop using it for political advantage? Did he say he would speak with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, asking them to remember the virus does not discriminate between Democrats and Republicans?
I’m betting none of this happened, so to find out what was said we will have to wait for a “whistleblower” to release the transcript.
There is a larger concern about Joe Biden, and I am not the first to mention it. Too often he seems “out of it,” to employ a nonmedical term. The long list of his gaffes has become legion. At one point, they were funny. But this is different from the gaffes of other politicians, such as House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, California Republican, who referred to the virus as a pandademic, instead of a pandemic. Confusion and disorientation are not qualities one wishes in a president (and for you anti-Trumpers reading this, I understand you will claim the same confusion describes the current president).
The Republican Party and the Trump-Pence re-election campaign have been paying close attention to Mr. Biden’s latest mistakes, untruths and gaffes. Here’s a partial list, courtesy of FactCheck.org, which the GOP sent me, and others on its email list, with links to make it easier for fact-checkers:
— He lied in an op-ed he wrote, which maintained Mr. Trump couldn’t deal properly with coronavirus or any pandemic.
— He pushed the bogus claim President Trump called coronavirus a “hoax.”
— He falsely claimed that President Trump turned down an offer from the WHO to provide testing kits.
— He claimed the Trump administration cut funding for the CDC when, in reality, CDC funding has gone up under President Trump. (Reminder, Obama-Biden sought CDC cuts in five of eight of their budget proposals.) Mr. Trump did initially seek cuts, but quickly reversed course.
— He falsely accused President Trump of disbanding the entire NSC team in charge of pandemic responses.
Joe Biden couldn’t even make it through “The Tonight Show” without making glaring mistakes:
— He forgot what the Defense Production Act was called no less than 30 seconds after citing it.
— He needed notes to get through a comedy show.
— He called the coronavirus the “conavirus.”
— He got the number of grandkids he has wrong … again.
Another example of how Mr. Biden either doesn’t read the newspapers or doesn’t watch TV news. At the end of January, when President Trump announced travel restrictions with China, Mr. Biden was criticizing President Trump for “xenophobia.” In other words, Mr. Biden was against the China travel ban before he was for it. It is just another of numerous Biden flips that make him appear like a fish out of water, pandering to the left-wing that controls his party in order to get the nomination.
His shifting positions and behavior will not help him in a debate with Mr. Trump. Republican ads will devastate Mr. Biden as a hypocrite at best and a liar at worst.
Add to this Mr. Biden’s aforementioned confusion whenever he speaks and you have someone clearly unfit to be his party’s nominee, much less president of the United States.
• Cal Thomas, a nationally syndicated columnist, is the author of “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires, Superpowers and the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan, January 2020).