Potential Biden replacement Gretchen Whitmer says ‘it wouldn’t hurt’ for president to take a cognitive test

Michigan governor describes president as ‘happy warrior’ but suggests both he and Trump should get assessed by a doctor

James Liddell
Thursday 11 July 2024 16:34
Related: Donald Trump’s obsession with Gretchen Whitmer

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Louise Thomas

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Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared that “it wouldn’t hurt” for Joe Biden to undergo a cognitive test as questions continue to grow about his mental fitness in the wake of last month’s debate disaster.

Both the Michigan governor and the president were quick to admit that his performance on stage against Donald Trump on June 27 was sub-par after th 81-year-old stumbled over his responses and, at points, was incoherent.

On Wednesday, Whitmer – whose name has been tossed into the rumor mill as a potential replacement should Biden step aside as the party’s presidential nominee – was asked by CNN’s Abby Phillip if she thinks both Biden and Trump should take a cognitive test.

“I don’t think that would hurt, to be honest,” Whitmer said, before admitting that the first presidential debate was “not a great success” for Biden.

Unlike Trump, who she described as self-serving, Whitmer said that Biden cares about the American public “more than he cares about himself”.

“We can’t lose sight of how high these stakes are,” she added.

“We have a field, and unless one person, Joe Biden, makes an alternative decision, this is the field, and we’ve got to go,” the governor continued.

Whitmer went on to describe the president as a “happy warrior” who “ shows up every day and fights for the American public”.

She denounced the idea of the party choosing a new leader like a game of “fantasy football”.

“We have a president who’s gotten a nomination, who’s earned it,” Whitmer concluded.

In the days after Biden’s debate performance, Politico reported that Whitmer had warned Biden that his chances of winning Michigan in November were over.

Biden has continued to face flak from his party, donors and the electorate about his perceived decline in mental acuity
Biden has continued to face flak from his party, donors and the electorate about his perceived decline in mental acuity (REUTERS)

Whitmer later denied the report.

Days later, she also ruled herself out of running for the Democratic nomination for president this year even if Biden does exit the race.

“It’s a distraction more than anything,” she toldThe Associated Press. “I don’t like seeing my name in articles like that because I’m totally focused on governing and campaigning for the [Biden-Kamala Harris] ticket.”

On Tuesday, the govenor took to X to double down on her support for the president, claiming that Biden “is in it to win it and I’m damn proud to support him”.

Yet, Whitmer told MSNBC that Biden has “got to prove to people he is up to the moment, and I think he’s going to.”

While she is showing unwavering support, other Democrats are growing increasingly despondent with the president now facing calls to step aside from 13 House Democrats, one Democratic senator, a swathe of megadonors and now even Hollywood star George Clooney.

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