Sen. Cory Booker Defends Biden: ‘His Intellectual Rigor Is 100% There’

Susan Walsh/AP

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said this week that he is keeping an eye on President Biden amid growing concerns over the 80-year-old’s age and mental fitness, asserting he does not see “any deterioration” mentally, making the remarks during a conversation on the Stephen A. Smith Show.

“I’ve said this publicly. I think that the Democratic Party — and I’ve used these words, so I’m not aiming it to anybody specifically —  but I said the Democratic Party should be ashamed of itself because you pride yourself on being progressives, but you’re relying on an 82-year-old at the time of election to win re-election,” Smith said, asking, “How in God’s name are we in that kind of predicament in the year 2023, where you’re relying on an 82-year-old man to come to the rescue to defeat a former president that’s got like 91 counts of federal charges against them.”

“For crying out loud. How the hell did that happen?” he asked.

Booker essentially argued that age is but a number, pointing to other older individuals who are still active and have it together.

“There is a spread, and everybody’s obsessed with a number and that doesn’t tell the whole story. This is what I know about Joe Biden, because you I’m a human being, when I’m hanging out with him I’m looking close. That’s right, does he have it? Is he listening to me? Can he hear me? Is he gonna doze off on me?” Booker said, ultimately concluding that he is not concerned about the 80-year-old’s mental fitness at all.

“I’ve sat up in the Oval Office, and he’s known more about facts than people on his staff does. He physically — look, I’ll play one-on-one with him. He wants to challenge me to a push-up contest, I’ll take you on Joe Biden — but his intellectual rigor is 100 percent there,” Booker said.

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“All I’m saying is this I know a couple things. I have no disrespect to the legacy of Ronald Reagan, but the stories I’ve heard about the state of his mental conditioning and his second term, I think it’s right to question that,” Booker said, explaining that he does not see “any deterioration” with Biden.

“But what I do see is a proven record. The biggest infrastructure act in this country’s history,” he said, also pointing to “the biggest science and technology bill” and “first gun bill,” which he claims “actually help[ed] save lives already.”

“I have seen no intellectual diminution,” Booker said, adding that he is still considering running for president in the future because the “biggest threat to America is us tearing each other apart, not any external threat.”

Booker reemphasized that he is not concerned about Biden stepping up due to his age, adding, “I haven’t seen anything that makes me say I can’t support this guy.”

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Further, the senator said he would run against Biden if he had those concerns and believed Biden could not defeat former President Donald Trump– his likely 2024 challenger.

“I know there’s a lot of other people — a lot of other Democrats — that are already young horses that have stepped back and said that, let the old lion finish what he started, because he hasn’t shown any diminution,” Booker added.


Booker’s take puts him at odds with a majority of Democrats who are concerned about Biden’s age.

Trump has also dismissed concerns about Biden’s age, specifically, explaining that he is “not to old” but “grossly incompetent.”


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