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Pete Buttigieg: Biden’s knowledge of trains demonstrates his mental sharpness

By Jake Beardslee · February 15, 2024

In brief…

  • Transportation Secretary Buttigieg recently defended Biden's mental sharpness, citing a detailed conversation about trains.
  • Other officials like Mayorkas have also publicly vouched for Biden's mental acuity.
  • This comes after Biden made some public gaffes and a special counsel report questioned his memory.
Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and other officials defended President Biden's mental sharpness after public concerns were raised over the 81-year-old's occasional gaffes and memory lapses.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently came to the defense of President Joe Biden’s mental sharpness, citing a detailed conversation the two had about trains that required consulting an Amtrak expert. Buttigieg’s comments, published in a Politico article on Wednesday, are the latest effort by the Biden administration to reassure the public amid growing concerns over the 81-year-old president’s cognitive abilities.

According to Buttigieg, Biden was asking such detailed questions during their discussion that they had to call in an Amtrak expert to address some of the president’s inquiries. “He was asking such detailed questions that we actually had to dial in another expert from Amtrak to get to some of the things he was asking about,” Buttigieg told Politico. This prompted White House communications director Ben LaBolt to highlight Buttigieg’s quote on social media, writing that this kind of thing happens frequently when briefing President Biden.

Buttigieg’s defense of Biden is notable given that he campaigned against Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, arguing new leadership was needed. He now finds himself defending the president along with other administration officials like Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who recently praised Biden’s sharpness and attention to detail.

Vice President Kamala Harris and Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison have also publicly vouched for Biden’s cognitive health in recent weeks, following the release of a special counsel report that referred to Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory.”