House Democrat dismisses concerns about Biden’s mental fitness, says White House ‘overprotects’ him

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Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said on “America’s Newsroom” Friday that President Biden’s staff is overprotective of him and he should schedule more press conferences, as well as participate in Democratic primary debates. The congressman reacted to questions about the president’s mental fitness after the 80-year-old Biden appeared to forget that he had traveled to Ireland just weeks ago.

SHOCK AS BIDEN FORGETS RECENT TRIP TO IRELAND, HAS TO BE REMINDED BY A CHILD: ‘COGNITIVELY UNFIT BY A MILE’

REP. RO KHANNA: I’m a person of democracy. I think he’s actually really good. I think his staff overprotects him. I think, put him out there in a press conference. Who cares if someone makes a gaffe? Every person makes a gaffe in conversations. Let’s see the authentic President Biden. He’s an empathetic person. And I think the more he’s out there, the better. And do the press conferences, do the debates. I debate people in Congress, even though they don’t have, sometimes, much of a chance. That’s American democracy. I love that. 

WASHINGTON, DC April 10, 2023: US President Joe Biden greets guest and take selfies during the 2023 White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday, April 10, 2023.  ((Photo by Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images))

The White House faced controversy this week after Biden appeared to read from a “cheat sheet” at a press conference. The card contained the names and faces of reporters, along with potential question topics.

The L.A. Times, whose reporter was seen in a photo of the card, denied submitting questions to the Biden team in advance.

The vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Times, Hillary Manning, provided the following to statement to Fox News Digital: “Our reporter did not submit any questions in advance of the Q&A with President Biden. Courtney Subramanian covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times. As such, she is in regular contact with the White House press office seeking information for her reporting. You would have to ask the White House who prepared the document for the president and why they included that question.”

As Biden spoke alongside South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the White House Rose Garden on Wednesday, a photographer captured a small cheat-sheet in the president’s hand signaling he had advanced knowledge of a question from the LA Times’ Courtney Subramanian. The small paper also included a picture of the reporter, along with the pronunciation breakdown of her last name. “Question #1” was handwritten at the top of the sheet, indicating the president should call on her first at the conclusion of his remarks.

“How are YOU squaring YOUR domestic priorities — like reshoring semiconductors manufacturing — with alliance-based foreign policy?” read the question in Biden’s hand.

The LA Times reporter asked Biden, “Your top economic priority has been to build up U.S. domestic manufacturing in competition with China, but your rules against expanding chip manufacturing in China is hurting South Korean companies that rely heavily on Beijing. Are you damaging a key ally in the competition with China to help your domestic politics ahead of the election?”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment but has yet to receive a response. 

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Fox News’ Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.

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