The 79-year-old president was asked to comment on a recent poll showing nearly half of those surveyed believe he is in cognitive decline
US President Joe Biden said he has "no idea" why a growing number of voters see him as mentally unfit, after a new survey found a large proportion of respondents are in doubt of his intellectual capacity.
The president was asked about his faculties during a Wednesday news conference, with Newsmax reporter James Rosen fielding a carefully worded question about a poll conducted over the weekend.
"I'd like to raise a delicate subject, but with utmost respect for your life accomplishments and the high office you hold," Rosen said. "A poll released this morning by Politico-Morning Consult found 49 percent of registered voters disagreeing with the statement 'Joe Biden is mentally fit.'"
The journalist added that "not even a majority of Democrats who responded strongly affirmed that statement," to which Biden replied "I'll let you all make the judgment whether they're correct."
Rosen continued to press, however, asking why "such large segments of the American electorate have come to harbor such profound concerns about your cognitive fitness." Biden responded curtly: "I have no idea."
"I don't believe the polls," Biden said in response to another question about moderate and independent voters increasingly dissatisfied with his job performance.
Republican women questioned Biden's mental state more than any other demographic in the poll, with a combined 87% saying they "strongly" or "somewhat" disagree with the statement that he is fit. Democratic men, meanwhile, were among the least critical. Some 49% of registered voters also said the president is not "stable," with another 43% stating that he is and the rest declining to answer.
The oldest man ever sworn into the Oval Office at the age of 78, Biden has been dogged by similar concerns for some time. Late last year, another Politico-Morning Consult survey showed that 48% of those polled thought he was mentally unfit, a major increase from just one month prior, when voters said he was fit by a margin of 21 percentage points over those who disagreed.