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‘It Can Only Help’: Sanders Tries To Spin Biden Gaffes as a Positive

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‘It Can Only Help’: Sanders Tries To Spin Biden Gaffes as a Positive

Former Biden official and current MSNBC host Symone Sanders-Townsend joined the Saturday edition of Today on NBC to discuss President Joe Biden’s age and recent gaffes in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report. Sanders-Townsend spun for Biden so hard that it is amazing she didn’t fall out of her chair from dizziness, as she actually tried to argue that Biden’s gaffes will dispel concerns about his age.

Co-host Peter Alexander wondered if Sanders-Townsend was actually giving good advice, “I know your sense is they got to let Joe be Joe here, let him get out there, interact with more Americans, but frankly, I think some would say in the recent days, when we’ve seen Joe be Joe, there have been other mistakes, some flubs, if you will, even in those remarks on Thursday night, the president confused the presidents of Mexico and Egypt. Is Joe being Joe, helping Joe or hurting?”

Sanders-Townsend was undeterred by Biden’s week of constant world leader blunders, “Well look, I think it can only help Joe Biden. When, back in the day, maybe four years ago, people used to say Joe Biden was the gaffe king. Well, now gaffes have turned into, ‘oh, well, has he lost a step. Is he too old?’”

Yes, she actually argued that Biden isn’t gaffe-prone because he’s old, he’s just gaffe-prone and this makes him more appealing. Sanders-Townsend also argued that Biden needs to be in public more, “And so I think that, look, the more the president is out there, fighting, looking like Uncle Joe as folks know, that is something the American people want to see, and frankly, how folks — part of the reason they voted for them last time, anybody remember ‘beat him a drum?’”

She continued, “So, the president has to put himself in spaces and places, and the campaign does where he can– that can come out. Where he is unscripted, where he is not on a big stage with flags behind him, but with the people, speaking plainly, and you know, showing the best thing you could do to combat if one has lost a step or if you can do the job, is to go out there and show people, but folks have to see it.”

What about the part of the Hur Report that mentions Biden’s memory problems? Earlier, Alexander asked her, “This is not a legal indictment, but perhaps it can be viewed as a political one here because it really gets to the heart of what Americans’ main concern is about this president… So, how politically problematic is this for the president, and how does the White House try to turn this issue and go on offense again?”

Here too, Sanders-Townsend also argued that Biden’s Thursday press conference actually benefited him, “In terms of what is problematic, I think that had the president not gone out Thursday night after the report surfaced and defended himself and then opened the door for his vice president and others to vigorously defend him, he would be in hotter waters.”

For Sanders-Townsend, Biden’s age is simply a conservative obsession, “Folks know the president is old, it is something that frankly, a sustained campaign has been ran against him in conservative, I would argue, conservative media circles and conservative campaigns for a while.”

Yes, they know he is old and, unlike Sanders-Townsend, they are not impressed with what they are seeing.

Here is a transcript for the February 10 show

NBC Today

2/10/2024

7:05  AM ET

PETER ALEXANDER: We want to bring in Symone Sanders-Townsend, she served as a senior member of the Biden Administration, is also a Democratic campaign veteran. Symone now co-hosts The Weekend on MSNBC. Symone, nice to see you on a Saturday morning, I appreciate your waking up with us.

This is not a legal indictment, but perhaps it can be viewed as a political one here because it really gets to the heart of what Americans’ main concern is about this president. More than 70 percent of Americans in NBC’s latest poll say they have concerns about his age and his mental acuity. So, how politically problematic is this for the president, and how does the White House try to turn this issue and go on offense again?

SYMONE SANDERS-TOWNSEND: Well, good to you both, happy Saturday. The heart of that report was, in fact, that there were no criminal charges to be filed because there was no crime to be found. And on that– on those grounds, that’s great for the president, the White House and the president’s re-election campaign.

In terms of what is problematic, I think that had the president not gone out Thursday night after the report surfaced and defended himself and then opened the door for his vice president and others to vigorously defend him, he would be in hotter waters. 

Folks know the president is old, it is something that frankly, a sustained campaign has been ran against him in conservative, I would argue, conservative media circles and conservative campaigns for a while. 

And so it is baked in on the president’s side that he is old, and that is why, I think, frankly now it’s showing up in the polling. When– I like to say when the president was a senior, Donald Trump was a freshman, but there was not a sustained campaign. Democrats did not choose when Donald Trump first came on the scene to brand him as crazy, senile, or too old to do the job. They said he was dangerous and unfit and a threat to the republic, so—

ALEXANDER: So, Symone, let me ask you if I can quickly, because I know your sense is they got to let Joe be Joe, here—

SANDERS-TOWNSEND: Yes.

ALEXANDER: –let him get out there, interact with more Americans, but frankly, I think some would say in the recent days, when we’ve seen Joe be Joe, there have been other mistakes, some flubs, if you will, even in those remarks on Thursday night, the president confused the presidents of Mexico and Egypt. Is Joe being Joe, helping Joe or hurting? 

SANDERS-TOWNSEND: Well look, I think it can only help Joe Biden. When, back in the day, maybe four years ago, people used to say Joe Biden was the gaffe king. Well, now gaffes have turned into, “oh, well, has he lost a step. Is he too old?”

And so I think that, look, the more the president is out there, fighting, looking like Uncle Joe as folks know, that is something the American people want to see, and frankly, how folks — part of the reason they voted for them last time, anybody remember “beat him a drum?”

So, the president has to put himself in spaces and places, and the campaign does where he can– that can come out. Where he is unscripted, where he is not on a big stage with flags behind him, but with the people, speaking plainly, and you know, showing the best thing you could do to combat if one has lost a step or if you can do the job, is to go out there and show people, but folks have to see it. 

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