Former Democratic congressman says it’s time for party leaders to talk about replacing Biden as 2024 nominee

Democrats are growing increasingly worried about the state of President Biden’s mental acuity after the release of the special counsel report stemming from his handling of classified documents. 

Special Counsel Robert Hur released the report on Thursday, and although the president won’t face criminal charges, the report alleged the president forgot key details of his life, including information surrounding his time as vice president and his son’s death, during pertinent interviews while the probe was being conducted. 

Biden called an unusual press conference after the release where he sparred with reporters, defending his record and state of mind while the media pressed him on his ability to lead the country. 

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“I think these questions now are going to come more to the fore,” Harold Ford, Jr., “The Five” co-host, told Brian Kilmeade on Friday. “This was a tough night for the president, and I think many in the Democratic Party, which is my party, are going to have serious questions going forward about what this means.”

“This last night will be the closing ad in a campaign against President Biden as we get to November,” the former Tennessee congressman continued. 

“The question is, are Democrats willing to go forward between now and November, with a candidate, that many in the country may not think is up to the job for four more.”

Biden repeatedly claimed he did not share classified information, which many called a direct contradiction to Hur’s report. 

He also sparred directly with Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, Washington Post reporter Tyler Pager and CNN correspondent MJ Lee as they questioned him on age-related concerns. 

Later on during the press conference, as Biden vehemently defended his mental abilities, he mistakenly referred to Egyptian President el-Sisi as the Mexican president when addressing humanitarian aid to Gaza. 

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“The president’s lost his fastball,” Ford, Jr. said. “President Biden last night, I think even in that interview, even in the press conference there, demonstrated to a lot of Americans what Mr. Hur wrote.”

Ford said before Thursday’s developments, he would have considered it “very unlikely” that Biden could end his re-election campaign.

“But as of right now, I think Democrats are going to have to grapple with this over the next several weeks and few months,” he continued. “And there are a few elders in the party that can perhaps have this conversation, and we’ll see if they do.”

Even as some Democrats panic over the fallout from the bombshell report, some far-left media outlets were quick to come to the president’s rescue. 

“Do you want to get into the age thing? Let’s call it what it is. This is ageism snuck into a report clearing the person of any wrongdoing,” MSNBC host Ari Melber said during a panel discussion. “If you want to get the ageism, young people are told all the time by their lawyers, ‘Hey, you’re way better off leaning into I don’t recall than possibly misstating something to a federal officer or under oath in this case.’ So it’s a lot of derogatory stuff.” 

“And I do think, and I want to be clear, a credit to the president that he chose to do fast cooperation. I think that’s good for the system. Politically, though, it’s now being used against him,” he later added. 

His MSNBC colleague Chris Hayes insisted Hur was “frustrated and angry” that he “didn’t get more” from his probe into Biden, pivoting to how age is the “central narrative question here that this all revolves around.” 

“In terms of its political repercussions, the way the news happened today, the questions being asked [of] him by multiple figures there. And in the end, what makes it such a useful political tool for people that want Donald Trump to be elected or want [Biden] not to be re-elected is that the fact that his age is not something you can rebut,” Hayes said. “If someone says you’re too far left, you can tack to the center. The man is 80 years old!”

“He rides a bike!” host Rachel Maddow interjected. 

Fox News contributor Joe Concha joined “Fox & Friends First” to discuss his take on left-wing outlets defending the president after the release of the report. 

“The fact they’re defending Joe Biden’s mental state when 76% of the American people by NBC news polls’ own standard, don’t think he has the mental fitness to be president now, let alone five years from now, when he would still be president if he won re-election,” he said Friday. 

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.