It’s increasingly evident that Joe Biden, 81, is not mentally fit to serve as president, which means his handlers in the White House have been struggling to make the case that, actually, everything is just fine.
“President Biden is crisscrossing the country at a rate that often exceeds his predecessors’ travel schedules, talking to the American people about their lives and the issues that matter most to them,” deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Politico in response to Democratic criticism of the president’s light public schedule and aversion to press conferences. It’s all part of an “aggressive, modern, all-of-the-above communities and digital strategy,” Bates said.
CNN truth expert Daniel Dale did not return an email inquiry about whether or not he was planning to fact-check this claim, so the Washington Free Beacon decided to look into it.
Biden has made 363 trips outside of Washington, D.C., between 2021 and 2023, according to an analysis of presidential travel. Roughly one-quarter (91) of Biden’s trips were to Delaware, where he owns a 6,850-square-foot mansion in Wilmington and a beach house in Rehoboth, the site of his infamous bicycle crash. He has spent 279 days at one of those properties, plus an additional 42 days on vacation in other parts of the country, for a total of 321 days, which amounts to nearly one-third of his presidency.
According to our analysis, Biden’s travel and vacation schedule during his first three years in office was similar to that of former president Donald Trump, who was ridiculed for frequently visiting his properties in Florida, New Jersey, and Virginia. Trump made 391 trips outside the capital in his first three years in office; roughly one-quarter of those (110 trips) were to properties he owned. He spent a total of 277 days, or roughly one-quarter of his presidency, at Trump-owned properties and didn’t vacation elsewhere.
The Free Beacon analysis was based on publicly available White House pool reports and excluded trips to the presidential retreat at Camp David. The number of days was calculated using both full and partial days spent outside of Washington or en route to a different location.
Our results were in line with those of a May 2023 analysis by the Washington Post‘s Philip Bump, which found that “Biden has spent all or part of 256 days of his presidency either on vacation or at one of his homes in Delaware,” compared with the 250 days Trump stayed at his properties during the same period in his presidency. Between June and December of last year, Biden spent a whopping 65 days at home or on vacation in Lake Tahoe, Nantucket, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Bump tried to argue there was an “obvious, important difference between the two situations” because Trump’s properties were places where the former president “would be interacting with customers for his private business.” The journalist asserted that the guests Biden hosted at his Delaware properties were “generally members of his family,” but there is no evidence to support this claim because the White House doesn’t keep visitor logs for the properties. At the very least, Bump conceded it wasn’t “ideal” that when Biden doesn’t vacation in Delaware, he typically stays in a fancy house owned by one of his billionaire donors.
Perhaps the most absurd part of the Biden spokesman’s comments to Politico was his insistence that the president has been traveling the country to talk “to the American people about their lives and the issues that matter most to them.” In reality, Biden’s travels have nearly always been marred by humiliating gaffes. His trip to the G7 Summit in 2021 was a disaster. He snapped at reporters, embarrassed the British prime minister, and repeatedly mixed up the names of Middle Eastern countries.
Things have only gotten worse since then, even after the White House started forcing Biden to use the short stairs on Air Force One to minimize the risk of a potentially fatal fall. During a trip to Vietnam in September 2023, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre interrupted Biden’s rambling remarks about China because, in the president’s words, it was time to “go to bed.”
When he does travel the country, Biden finds comfort in ice cream shops, where he has no trouble answering questions from reporters about his favorite flavor. Otherwise his brain tends to malfunction. During a stop in Pennsylvania earlier this year, Biden told a group of coffee shop employees that he works “for the government in the Senate,” where he hasn’t served since 2009.
Even the president’s trips to Delaware have been plagued by episodes of cognitive decline. In addition to his bicycle accident, Biden infuriated Americans by vacationing on the beach as a deadly wildfire killed hundreds in Hawaii. When he finally visited the islands to survey the damage, Biden insulted the grieving residents by comparing the devastation to the time he “almost lost” his 1967 Corvette when his house briefly caught fire.
The American people have noticed that Biden, wherever he happens to be at a given time, is not well and getting worse by the day. Just 28 percent of Americans said Biden has “the mental sharpness it takes to effectively serve as president,” according to an ABC News poll released last month. This week Biden struggled to remember the name of the terrorist group Hamas and claimed to have recently met with François Mitterrand, the former president of France who died in 1996.
Rather than trying to convince voters that Biden is something he’s not—young, spry, aware of his surroundings and the current date or the fact that he’s the president—White House officials should probably just accept reality and lock him in the basement where he belongs.