Former President Barack Obama reportedly warned Democrats about Joe Biden running for president in 2020, allegedly saying that people should not underestimate Biden’s ability to screw things up.
Politico reported that aides for the former vice president said that Obama has not done as much for Biden as he did for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she ran for office in 2016.
“One Democrat who spoke to Obama recalled the former president warning, ‘Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up,'” Politico reported. “Speaking of his own waning understanding of today’s Democratic electorate, especially in Iowa, Obama told one 2020 candidate: ‘And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden.'”
The New York Times reported last year that Obama told Biden, “You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t.”
Obama also reportedly summoned a meeting with top officials from the Biden campaign where he told them that they needed to make sure that Biden did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy” during the campaign.
CNN’s Jake Tapper reported last year that a senior Obama-Biden official told him, “Biden’s strength has never been his clarity of message or his delivery. But watching his long, winding answers that don’t really make sense in recent debates has also raised the question as to whether that has gotten worse and whether he is up for this.”
The Trump campaign put together a highlight video of different Democrats and left-wing pundits questioning Biden’s fitness for office and his ability to run a successful campaign.
Barack Obama tried to discourage Joe Biden from running for president, saying, “you don’t have to do this Joe, you really don’t.”
Obama also told Biden's staff to make sure Sleepy Joe didn’t embarrass himself. Too late!pic.twitter.com/qLosBxWM2f
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) May 14, 2020
“Biden has repeatedly refused to take questions from reporters in recent months in an apparent attempt to minimize his exposure to situations where he could say something that damages his campaign,” The Daily Wire reported. “Biden’s refusal to take questions comes as he has faced mounting questions about his fitness for office, including questions about his cognitive abilities. Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, recently had to go on Fox News to defend her husband from the criticisms. It’s worth noting that numerous Democrats, progressives, and left-wing publications have also questioned Biden’s mental fitness for office. Biden, who said a couple of months ago that he was ‘constantly tested’ for cognitive decline, walked those claims back last week, denying that he had been tested for cognitive decline and saying, ‘Why the hell would I take a test?'”
Politico further reported that numerous officials in the Obama administration noted how Obama apparently viewed Biden while he was vice president. Politico’s report said that Obama and Biden did have a close personal relationship, “built particularly around devotion to family, while at the same time many senior aides, sometimes tacitly encouraged by the president’s behavior, dismissed Biden as eccentric and a practitioner of an old, outmoded style of politics.”
Jen Psaki, the former White House communications director, said, “You could certainly see technocratic eye-rolling at times.”
“Obama would have a series of exchanges heading a conversation very clearly and crisply in Direction A. Then, at some point, Biden would jump in with, ‘Can I ask something, Mr. President?’” former FBI Director James Comey wrote in his book. “Obama would politely agree, but something in his expression suggested he knew full well that for the next five or 10 minutes we would all be heading in Direction Z. After listening and patiently waiting, President Obama would then bring the conversation back on course.”
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, wrote in his book that “in the Situation Room, Biden could be something of an unguided missile.”
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.