Donald Trump faces far less criticism than Joe Biden for his advanced age, verbal errors and mental lapses because they harmonize with his personality, experts argue.
Biden, 81, has spent recent days under siege from Republicans and the press after a special counsel report raised alarm about his mental capacity.
The report did not recommend charges against Biden over the possibility of retaining classified documents, in part because a jury would view him as “a sympathetic, well-intentioned old man with a bad memory.”
The president held a press conference Thursday to question the report, but made matters worse by confusing Mexico and Egypt.
Trump, 77, has his own long list of gaffes that should alarm his supporters, including confusing the names of people and places and appearing physically frail.
Donald Trump has taken to dancing on stage during his rallies, which, combined with his bombastic personality and younger appearance through fake tan and hair dye, helps him avoid criticism for his many mistakes.
US Vice President Joe Biden stumbles as he takes the stage to deliver a speech at Paddington Town Hall in Sydney on July 20, 2016.
But rather than diminishing her appeal, they seem to enhance it, or at least be ignored, as very few of her followers say their age worries them.
Experts believe Trump’s extravagant stage presence at his rallies and speeches while president helps disguise them as part of the spectacle.
He regularly mocks Biden’s age and supposed fragility with hyperbolic caricatures and even dances while taking the stage to bombastic music.
Trump is also a much more imposing figure than Biden: He is, he says, 6 feet 3 inches tall and keeps himself looking comparatively youthful by dying his hair and lathering up with a fake tan.
Carol Kinsey Goman, a speaker and leadership coach, said mistakes seem like “weaknesses” when Biden makes them, but Trump regularly gets his way.
“When Trump makes those kinds of missteps, he just ignores it and people don’t say, ‘Oh, he’s getting older,'” he told the New York Times.
‘He makes at least as many mistakes as Joe Biden, but because he does it with this bravery, it doesn’t look like senility. It looks like passion.
A recent Siena College poll conducted in six swing states found that 70 percent of voters were concerned about Biden’s age, but less than half were concerned about Trump’s.
Other Democrats have noted the same double standard, including Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, who admitted it worried him.
“Even though we know that both candidates are three and a half years apart, one side seems to have a little more tension, and that’s going to be a concern,” he said.
‘Donald Trump is more of an artist than a politician in many ways. And I think there’s just a different set of expectations and that’s why he gets away with it.”
Last year, political commentator Larry Sabato made similar observations, saying Trump’s base wasn’t hearing any criticism of him.
‘They don’t care even if they think it’s accurate, but it’s important. Maybe press reports should be more balanced,” she stated.
‘When President Biden’s age and questions about his supposed mental acuity or his race can be the same thing, it should be mentioned for Donald Trump.
‘I think that would be fair. And I have to say, Jim, I just hope that President Putin’s feelings weren’t hurt by the nice things Trump said about Orban. You know, I hope he’s not changing dictators here.
Trump has repeatedly mistakenly referred to former President Barack Obama when referring to Biden or Hilary Clinton.
“With Obama, we won an election that they said couldn’t be won,” he said of his 2016 election victory, which was actually over Clinton.
He also said that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban called on ‘President Obama’ to resign and be ‘replaced by Trump.’
‘The head of Hungary, Viktor Orban, very powerful inside and outside his country, they interviewed him two weeks ago and they asked him what would he advise President Obama?’ he said.
The entire world seems to be exploding and imploding. He said: “It’s very simple, I should resign immediately and replace him with President Trump, who kept the world safe.”
He also mistakenly called Orban “Türkiye’s leader.”
A month earlier, in Iowa, he greeted his audience in Sioux City as ‘Sioux Falls,’ which is actually a city in South Dakota.
‘I go around saying of course we’re going to win Iowa. My people said you can’t assume that,’ Trump told his audience at the ornate Orpheum Theater in Sioux City, Iowa.
In another speech, Trump said North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was in charge of a country of 1.4 billion people.