Throughout the 2020 election cycle, right-wing media figures have attacked Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for supposedly not being mentally fit to be president. Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has likewise used allegations of cognitive decline as a campaign tactic against Biden, including in a widely viewed advertisement during the Democratic National Convention. The attacks on Biden’s mental acuity, however, often revolve around mocking his long-documented lifelong struggle with stuttering.
Biden has publicly discussed his stutter on multiple occasions, and it was notably referenced during this summer’s Democratic National Convention when a young New Hampshire boy recounted “how the former vice president, by speaking about his own experience, had helped him overcome” his own stutter. Not only has the stutter been written about for decades, but in his 2007 memoir, Biden called the stutter a “godsend” and said it “strengthened” him and made him a “better person.”
While Biden has uplifted those who also struggle with stuttering, this hasn’t stopped right-wing media figures from mocking him for it.
- Fox News host Brian Kilmeade denied that Joe Biden's stutter still affected him, saying, “That is not even correct.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/21/2020]
- Radio host Tony Katz mocked Biden’s stuttering, saying, “Haven’t we heard enough stuttering Vice President Joe Biden?” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 10/20/20]
- Newsmax host Greg Kelly, who recently interviewed Trump, falsely claimed that Biden’s stutter is “a phony little campaign gambit for sympathy. Joe Biden doesn't have a stutter.” [Newsmax, Greg Kelly Reports, 10/19/20]
- Right-wing YouTuber and conspiracy theorist Steven Crowder mocked Biden’s stutter by repeatedly mimicking it. Bizarrely, Crowder also denied the former vice president even had a stutter, instead asserting that Biden only says “functionally retarded things.” [BlazeTV, Louder with Crowder, 8/20/20]
- Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity disgustingly mocked Biden’s stutter by imitating it on air. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/10/20]
- The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro falsely stated that Biden previously “overcame” his stutter and it no longer affects him. [The Daily Wire, The Ben Shapiro Show, 8/6/20]
- BlazeTV host Sara Gonzales said Biden can no longer blame verbal gaffes on a stutter, claiming he overcame it years before. [BlazeTV, The News and Why It Matters, 4/6/20]
- OAN correspondent and revanchist troll Jack Posobiec claimed Biden “literally spent years in the public eye with no sign” of a stutter. [OAN, One America News, 3/10/20]
- Daily Wire host Michael Knowles dismissed Biden’s stutter, claiming that it was not evident for the past 40 years of his career. He went on to claim that Biden’s stutter just “conveniently and suddenly reappeared.” [The Daily Wire, The Michael Knowles Show, 3/9/20]