Kamala Harris spent months shooting down concerns over Biden's mental competency ahead of the debate

In the months leading up to President Biden’s devastating debate performance, Vice President Kamala Harris made several efforts to affirm and defend his mental acuity, according to a new Fox News Digital analysis. 

Questions posed to Harris over Biden’s mental competency were raised frequently beginning in the fall of 2023, as the president made recurring comments at public events that sparked concerns over his fitness ahead of the election year. The president is 81.

Harris suggested that “what’s on his birth certificate in terms of his age” is not “the measure of the man,” when asked about Biden’s age in a November 2023 Sirius XM interview.

“Let’s not get distracted. Let’s look at whether we have a president that’s actually produced, and followed through on his commitments and especially on long-standing issues that needed to be addressed,” Harris said. “Joe Biden has done that. That’s the measure of the man. Not what’s on his birth certificate in terms of his age.”

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After several gaffes in 2023 – including Biden falling at the Air Force Academy commencement ceremony in June, referring to the Grand Canyon as one of the “nine” wonders of the world in August and claiming he was at Ground Zero the day after 9/11 in September despite records showing he was in Washington, D.C., that day – Harris was again asked about whether the president’s age is a concern.

“I would say that age is more than a chronological fact,” Harris said in an interview for the New York Times’ Dealbook Summit in November 2023, adding that he is “absolutely authoritative” during his meetings.

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The vice president, who is being floated as the leading replacement for Biden should he be replaced as the nominee, said in January that “we’ve got to get beyond” the question of the president’s age.

“So this whole issue that they are raising about his age is, again, because they’ve got nothing to run on,” Harris said during a one-on-one with Katie Couric during her podcast, “Next Question with Katie Couric,” on iHeartRadio. “And I just think that we’ve got to get beyond this, because I think ultimately, what the American people deserve is that their leaders perform by way of solutions and uplifting the condition of their lives.”

Harris, 59, was later asked by ABC News about concerns over Biden’s fitness for office. 

“I’ll tell you, the reality of it is, and I’ve spent a lot of time with Biden, be it in the Oval Office, in the Situation Room and other places – he is extraordinarily smart. He has the ability to see around the corner in terms of what might be the challenges we face as a nation or globally,” Harris told the outlet in January.

When special counsel Robert Hur described Biden as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” in a report investigating his handling of classified documents, Harris ran to Biden’s defense, calling it false. 

“So, the way that the president’s demeanor in that report was characterized could not be more wrong on the facts and clearly politically motivated, gratuitous,” Harris said of the report at a Gathering of Community Violence Intervention Leaders in February.

Additionally, just minutes after the June 27 debate concluded, Harris appeared on CNN to defend the president’s performance that was already causing a frenzy within the Democratic Party.

When pressed on concerns over Biden’s debate performance in the post-debate interview, the vice president attempted to turn the table on former President Trump and said the president had a “slow start,” but that the debate should not be compared to Biden’s three and a half years of “performance” as president.

“Last night, President Joe Biden and Donald Trump had their first debate, and earlier today the president said himself it was not his best performance,” Harris told voters in Las Vegas after the debate. “This race will not be decided by one night in June.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Harris for comment but did not hear back at press time. 

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