Biden faces fresh fears over cognitive decline after Putin ‘cannot remain in power’ speech

Alastair Stewart discusses Joe Biden’s Putin comments

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The 46th US President suffered international backlash from key Western allies after suggesting the Kremlin should undergo a regime change. During Mr Biden’s speech in Warsaw, the 79-year-old said: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been seen as a key ally to Washington despite Paris’ frustration with the AUKUS submarine agreement, responded by saying: “I think we must do everything to avoid the situation getting out of hand.

“I wouldn’t use these kinds of words because I’m still in talks with President Putin.”

A Downing Street spokesperson claimed Boris Johnson is not pursuing regime change in Moscow and claimed it is up to the Russian people how they are governed.

Defence Select Committee chair and ex-Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood called Mr Biden’s remarks “unwise”.

The Bournemouth East MP added: “It’s for the Russian people to draw this (obvious) conclusion.

“Putin/Xi (& many Russians) will now read ‘regime change’ as POTUS’ wider objective – beyond supporting Ukraine.

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“Putin will spin this, dig in and fight harder.”

Antony Blinken, who serves as Washington’s Secretary of State, has been forced to peddle back from his boss’ comments.

Speaking in Israel, Mr Blinken said: “With regard to the President’s incredibly powerful speech yesterday, I think the President, the White House, made the point last night that quite simply President Putin cannot be empowered to wage war or engage in aggression against Ukraine or anyone else.

“As you know, and as you’ve heard us say repeatedly, we do not have a strategy for regime change in Russia or anywhere else for that matter.”

However, Biden’s hardline speech has also brought back into question the 46th President’s cognitive state.

Mr Biden faced criticism earlier in the Ukraine crisis when he suggested a “minor incursion” by Moscow might not necessitate a powerful international response.

The remark led Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to say: “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations.

“Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones.

“I say this as the President of a great power.”

Mr Biden has declined to take a cognitive test since entering the Oval Office in January 2021, according to the Times.

However, concerns over the President’s cognitive state are now seemingly starting to cut through with the American public.

An opinion poll taken before Mr Biden’s maiden state of the union address found 54 percent of Americans no longer believe he has the “mental sharpness it takes to serve effectively as President”.

Donald Trump, Mr Biden’s predecessor in the White House, hoped to benefit from concerns about the 46th President’s health on the campaign trail in 2020.

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Dubbing his Democratic opponent “sleepy Joe”, Mr Trump challenged Biden to take a mental exam which he said he “aced”.

Compilations of Mr Biden’s campaign trail gaffes, including an incident in which he said “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids”, circulated around social media as American voters went to the polls.

However, Mr Trump responded to Mr Biden’s most recent speech in Warsaw by saying: “When you put him [Putin] into a corner and you talk the way they’re talking – they’re talking weak – and they’re almost giving him an incentive.”

Despite losing out to Mr Biden in 2020, Mr Trump currently leads in Real Clear Politics’ polling average by 3.7 percent.

Such a lead is expected to be enough for Mr Trump to flip the five swing states he lost to Biden two years ago, allowing the 45th President to return to the White House and become just the second Commander-in-Chief to serve two non-consecutive terms in the Oval Office.

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