Opinion: Robert Hur’s gratuitous report on Joe Biden


Although Special Counsel Robert Mueller may believe that President Joe Biden has a short memory, it’s likely that the president will never forget the jab the special counsel inserted into the Biden reelection campaign on Thursday.

Hur’s 350-page assessment came to the conclusion that Biden would not face legal repercussions for keeping and divulging classified material after serving as vice president.

The good news was that.

However, there were a few passages in the special counsel’s book that were unquestionably harmful to a president who was already dealing with public skepticism regarding his age and suitability.

Biden was described in the report as “a well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.” It also mentioned his “diminished faculties in advancing age” and the fact that, given his advanced age and infirmity, he would be an empathetic witness in his own defense.

The report stated that the vice president was unable to recall when his term ended (asking, “If it was 2013, when did I stop being Vice President?”), and forgot when his term started (asking, “In 2009, am I still Vice President?”) on the second day of the interview. “Even after a few years, he could not recall the exact moment his son Beau passed away.”

These findings, which were partially derived from five hours of interviews with Hur’s staff in October, incensed the president. The mention of his beloved son Beau, whose loss in 2015 is still a source of pain, particularly infuriated him.

During a hurriedly scheduled White House press conference on Thursday night, Biden angrily exclaimed, “How the hell dare he raise that.” His voice was strained with emotion and outrage.

Several Democrats have expressed their disapproval, highlighting the fact that Hur, a Republican who worked as a US attorney in Maryland throughout the Trump administration and is a veteran of the Department of Justice, was chosen by Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, to serve as special counsel.

Regardless of Hur’s intentions, the 81-year-old president was offended by the report’s seemingly careless wording. It was just one more wood added to the roaring bonfire that might consume Biden’s reelection.

Hur’s assessment looked unnecessary and inappropriate because he is a lawyer and not a medical professional. However, in presidential contests, the most damaging reports are frequently those that validate people’s preconceived notions.

The image of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney as a heartless financier was furthered when a recording of him speaking at a private event in 2012 revealed that 47% of Americans were effectively wards of the state and its entitlements and would never vote for him. As the campaign manager for President Barack Obama at the time, we took advantage of Romney’s remarks to paint him as unfriendly to voters in the working class.

This was also the case in 2016 when Democratic contender Hillary Clinton called Trump’s followers a “basket of deplorables” while speaking at a fundraiser. Her opponents have greater opportunity to portray her as a contemptuous cultural elite as a result of the casual remark.

Republicans have constantly promoted the negative perception of Biden, which is that he is weak and elderly and that the world is out of control. And that story has become established.