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Biden Takes a Swipe at Trump, Jokes About His Mental Fitness at Gridiron Dinner

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Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg; Al Drago/Bloomberg
Source: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg; Al Drago/Bloomberg

U.S. President Joe Biden took jabs on Saturday at former President Donald Trump. He made jokes about the mental fitness of his election opponent. Biden delivered these remarks during a speech at the Gridiron Club dinner.

The Gridiron Club dinner is a Washington tradition that began in the 1880s. Biden’s appearance at the dinner was notable. It’s an event where politicians and journalists trade humorous barbs. The setting is a white-tie formal affair.

This was Biden’s first time attending the event. Biden, 81, recently secured the Democratic Party’s nomination. He will compete against Trump, 77, in a rematch in November.

Biden aims to attract voters and improve his approval ratings. He also seeks to address concerns about his age and ability to serve another term.

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Biden made a remark on Saturday in front of over 650 guests. The attendees included the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. Biden jokes about one candidate being too old and mentally unfit for the presidency. He then quipped, “The other one is me.”

Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Trump himself has questioned Biden’s mental capacity for the presidency. Biden emphasized the significance of the press.

He stated that the press is not “the enemy of the people,” directly opposing Trump’s past remarks about the news media.

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He discussed the war in Ukraine with Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. Biden affirmed, “We will not bow down, they (Ukrainians) will not bow down, and I will not bow down.”

Following his speech, Biden mingled with attendees, taking selfies with reporters and even calling one guest’s mother. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, representing the Democratic Party, also delivered remarks.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox, representing the Republican Party, also spoke at the event. Cox, aged 48, humorously announced his candidacy for the presidency in 2052, quipping that he would still be younger than President Biden and former President Trump at that time. 

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Transitioning to a more serious tone, he noted a growing desire among Americans for a more positive political landscape. The 65 members of the Gridiron Club, representing various news organizations, entertained the audience with satirical songs and skits.

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One of the songs lampooned Biden’s and Trump’s ages, set to the melody of “When I’m Sixty-Four” by The Beatles. At last year’s Gridiron dinner, Mike Pence, the former Vice President under Trump.

He sharply criticized his former boss, suggesting that history would judge Trump’s actions regarding the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. This is in contrast to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, which is televised.

The Gridiron dinner maintains a vintage ambiance, with men in white tie and tails and women in long dresses. Photography is prohibited during the dinner, and attendees are requested not to post on social media until after the event has concluded.

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