Trump’s ‘slurred speech and gross, repeated errors’ show his cognitive decline is ‘MORE apparent’ than Biden, UBC professor claims, in frightening assessment of presidential front runners

Donald Trump’s cognitive decline is ‘more apparent’ than Joe Biden’s with ‘slurred speech and gross, repeated errors’ but both are concerning, a professor has warned. 

Politics professor Paul Quirk from the University of British Columbia assessed both the presidential front runners’ cognitive functioning – after a series of gaffes raised questions about their fitness to hold office. 

He told Newsweek that 77-year-old Trump’s cognitive deterioration is more obvious, but Biden’s ‘cognitive failure’ could result in him refusing to relinquish control if needed during his second term. 

Both candidates have come under fire for mental slip-ups in recent weeks – Trump confused Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi, while a damning report described Biden, 81, as an ‘elderly man with a limited memory.’

Quirk said: ‘From the standpoint of the campaign, Biden’s age should be less of an issue than Trump’s more apparent cognitive decline – displayed in slurred speech and gross, repeated errors in one campaign rally after another.’

Professor Quirk warned that Biden could fail to recognize his own decline and refuse to step down as a result

Trump's decline is 'more apparent' and a bigger issue for his campaign according to Professor Quirk

Trump’s decline is ‘more apparent’ and a bigger issue for his campaign according to Professor Quirk 

Although Trump’s decline is more obvious, Quirk said, Biden’s is equally worrying: ‘The legitimate concern about Biden’s age is that by the end of a second term, he would be almost five years older than he is now.

‘There is obvious potential for serious cognitive failure by then. 

‘And if it occurred, the real danger is that Biden would fail to recognize it, and refuse to let his vice president take over.’

Quirk’s assessment follows a series of slip-ups that have called both Trump and Biden’s mental fitness into question.  

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice released its long-awaited investigation into Joe Biden‘s mishandling of classified documents, delivering a damning assessment of the president’s ‘diminished faculties’ and limited memory.

Although the report did not recommend bringing charges against the 81-year-old, it provided a cascade of damaging findings about files found in Biden’s garage as well as the president’s fitness for office.

In interviews with investigators, the report said Biden became muddled about the dates he was vice president and could not remember the year in which his son Beau died. 

The report said: ‘He did not remember when he was vice president, forgetting on the first day of the interview when his term ended (‘if it was 2013 – when did I stop being Vice President?’), and forgetting on the second day of the interview when his term began (‘in 2009, am I still Vice President?’).’

Professor Quirk assessed the cognitive functioning of both of the presidential front runners

Professor Quirk assessed the cognitive functioning of both of the presidential front runners

One of the reasons they decided not to press charges was because ‘at trial, Mr. Biden 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’.

Earlier this month, Biden’s staff struggled to explain why the president repeatedly referred to deceased European leaders as if they were still in power. 

He made another gaffe when he referred to French president Emmanuel Macron as Francois Mitterrand, the country’s former leader. Mitterrand died 28 years ago. 

Then Biden mixed up late German leader Helmut Kohl with former Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

And in November, he bragged that he had a ‘code to blow up the world’ as he chatted about nuclear weapons on a visit to the world’s largest windmill factory in Colorado.

At the same visit, Biden called Trump a ‘Congressman Trump.’ 

Meanwhile Trump, speaking at a rally in Concord, New Hampshire ahead of the state’s key primary election, repeatedly mistakenly referred to Nikki Haley being responsible for security during the US Capitol riot – rather than Nancy Pelosi.

He said: ‘By the way, they never report the crowd on January 6. You know Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, you know, they — do you know they destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it.’

Trump has also appeared to slur his words while giving speeches on the campaign trial.

And he has seemed to mix-up Biden and Obama, repeatedly suggesting former Democratic President Barack Obama was still in office. 

Over the past few months he has referred to the ‘Obama administration’ in the present tense and to Obama as the ‘current president’ while on the campaign trail.

Both Trump and Biden have tried to downplay the gaffes, insisting they are fine. 

After the Department of Justice report, Biden told the nation ‘I know what the hell I am doing!’ and insisted that ‘my memory is fine.’

Likewise, in January Trump told voters that he had taken a mental fitness test and ‘aced it’. 

More than 8.5 in 10 American voters think President Joe Biden is too old for another term ¿ and only 62% feel the same about Trump

More than 8.5 in 10 American voters think President Joe Biden is too old for another term – and only 62% feel the same about Trump 

But voters have not been convinced with a recent NBC poll finding a total of 62 percent of voters had major concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health and 34 percent of voters had major concerns about Trump’s. 

Likewise, the vast majority of American voters – 86 percent – said President Joe Biden, 81, is too old for another term in office, according to ABC News/Ipsos poll.

And, 62 percent of respondents in the poll said that former President Trump, 77, is also too old for another White House term.

Prof Quirk believes Democrats want Biden to step aside, but that there is no way to make him do it.  

He said: ‘Many or even most senior Democrats might prefer that he step aside. 

‘But they don’t have mechanisms for discussing the matter in confidence, arriving at a collective decision, and imposing it on Biden, other party members, and primary voters.’

But he added the situation was not yet dire: ‘At this stage, we have seen no clear evidence that Biden has had enough cognitive decline to compromise his performance as president.

‘He has been, if anything, surprisingly effective in policy terms. The Special Counsel’s report that called attention to Biden’s ‘memory problems’ has been widely disparaged as a partisan hit job.’