David Brooks: Biden "Forgetting Things" Is Normal; Trump Memory Issue Raises Question Of Mental Fitness

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'New York Times' opinion writer David Brooks said the "psychological tumult" of President Trump's performance is one of the "key takeaways" of the G7. Brooks said questions of the president's mental fitness "seemed to rise and now become of public conversation" after he confused his father's birthplace of the Bronx with Germany. However, Brooks said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's memory issues are not "mendacious" and that memories "are just much more fallible than we think." He said with the rigors of campaigning "things get jostled in your mind."

Brooks on Trump:





DAVID BROOKS, NYT: That's sort of par for the course for G7 summits. But I think what struck me this week was how the debate changed around Donald Trump. There has been whispering, is he mentally not as fit as he was? Are impairments rising?

That somehow seemed to rise and now become public conversation. When he said his father was with born in Germany, when your father was born in the Bronx, that's not something you normally get wrong. That his wife is good trends with the North Korean leader, when she had never met him.

I mean, there are just a lot of things coming out of his mouth. And this has always been the case, but the verbal patterns — psychiatrists are not allowed to judge people they haven't met, but there are certainly a lot of people out there raising a lot of red flags.

So, that — to me, among the tumult of — the political tumult the G7, the psychological tumult is almost one of the key takeaways.


Brooks on Biden:

I mean, Biden may be aging, and maybe that's an issue. I think it is a legitimate issue for voters to think about. But he is not mendacious, he is not irresponsible. He may embellish a story to improve its dramatic effect. And he may be forgetting things.

Our memories are just much more fallible than we think. Every memory expert will tell you that. And when you're on the campaign trail doing thousands of events traveling everywhere, things get jostled in your mind.

So, it could be just the normal jostling of campaign. And for some reason, we have gotten into a pattern where a Biden gaffe is the story. So he will do eight good things in the campaign, tells one mistake, and that's the story, because that's the story we associate with Joe Biden right now.

But it is something for voters to monitor. I don't think embellishing that kind of story is like something that is necessarily a sign that he is over the hill.

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