CNN guest and Republican strategist Lee Carter said Monday that special counsel Robert Hur’s report is “so damaging” to President Joe Biden, but cautioned the White House against sending the president out in public to counteract the report’s findings.
Hur declined to pursue criminal charges against Biden despite describing him as having willfully possessed classified information covering important national security matters, according to his report. Hur said Biden, if forced to sit trial, “would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Hur also said it would be “difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him — by then a former president well into his eighties — of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”
CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp said the White House is justified in being angry about the report because it’s “cementing a narrative that’s already out there.”
Cupp said the White House can’t ignore the report because polls indicate Americans are concerned about Biden’s mental acuity before advising Biden to “focus on policy.”
“Just talk about the things you’ve done and the things you’re going to do. But this is the big albatross over the Biden campaign at this point,” Cupp said. (RELATED: ‘It’s Just True’: CNN Host Phil Mattingly Cuts Off Dem Rep Dan Goldman From Defending Biden’s Memory Gaffes)
Carter jumped in to say the report is highly “damaging” to Biden because he can’t hide from the issue, adding Biden does better in small groups rather than televised events.
“It is absolutely so damaging. The only thing he can do is to counteract it in some way and he can’t do it by addresses. Because when he gets out there and addresses the nation, he has more gaffes. He does more big events. It doesn’t work. We need to see him in small settings doing what he does best and brokering conversations because otherwise this is what we’re going to see and it’s a symbol,” Carter said. “Now we have him on tape saying ‘I’m a well-intentioned elderly man.'”
Biden tried to defend himself against the accusations in the report by defending his mental acuity and denying that his handling of the documents violated the law. During his Thursday impromptu speech, Biden said he keeps a rosary in memory of his son Beau but appeared to forget the parish it came from and trailed off into silence.
Biden then described Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the “president of Mexico.”