A day after McConnell froze during a public event in Kentucky, President Biden said he was not concerned about the functioning of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
“I spoke to him today,” Biden told reporters during a visit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters. “He was the old man on the phone.”
Biden said McConnell’s troubles are not uncommon given that the senator suffered a concussion earlier in the year.
When asked if he had concerns about McConnell’s ability to do his job, Biden replied, “No, I don’t.”
Biden, who turns 81 in November, has worked with 81-year-old McConnell for decades, going back to their days in the Senate.
During a call Wednesday in Covington, Kentucky, a reporter asked McConnell about his thoughts on reelection in 2026.
The Republican Senate leader twice asked the reporter to repeat the question, then replied, “That’s a,” before freezing and staring ahead for about 30 seconds, according to the episode’s video.
At some point during the shutdown, an aide approached McConnell and asked, “Did you hear the question, Senator, how to run for re-election in 2026?” McConnell responded in an inaudible word. His team later attributed the incident to daze.
Wednesday’s episode came just over a month after McConnell froze while answering reporters’ questions during his weekly Capitol news briefing. During this incident, he stared wordlessly in front of himself for almost 20 seconds before being led away from the press conference.
McConnell’s doctor said in a letter released Thursday that the senator had received approval to go ahead with his schedule as planned.