Former White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson said Tuesday that Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden “does not have the mental capacity” to handle the rigors of the presidency.
“He is not up to the job,” Dr. Jackson told reporters in a conference call organized by President Trump’s reelection campaign. “I’ve watched Joe Biden on the campaign trail and I’m concerned that he does not have the mental capacity, the cognitive ability, to serve as our commander-in-chief. He routinely gets lost in the middle of a thought and can’t recalibrate.”
Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates dismissed the claims, saying, “I refer you to the first debate.”
Dr. Jackson served as White House physician from 2013 to 2018 for President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump. He was nominated by Mr. Trump for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but withdrew his nomination under attack about his personal behavior.
The retired rear admiral is now a Republican candidate for a House seat in Texas.
Dr. Jackson pointed to recent gaffes in which Mr. Biden, for example, told supporters on Monday that he was running for Senate and couldn’t remember the name of Republican Sen. Mitt Romey of Utah, referring to him as “the Mormon.”
“I’m not making a medical assessment,” Dr. Jackson said. “I never took care of Vice President Biden. I’m not trying to remotely diagnose him with anything. I’m saying it as a concerned citizen. We can all see. … something’s going on here. He is having some extremely bad days. This is serious. We’re picking a commander-in-chief [who] has to be at the top of their game cognitively. And he’s really not.”
Former Trump deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland said Mr. Biden “just is not the guy to do it anymore.”
“He’s a nice man, but he’s not a strong man,” she told reporters, saying Mr. Biden’s decline is “pretty obvious for all to see.”
“Don’t expect our adversaries to be nice to him,” she said. “They’re going to take advantage of that and exploit that at every single step.”