Gingrich suggests Biden’s biggest State of the Union challenge will be keeping up his energy

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Thursday quipped the “single most important factor” of President Biden’s State of the Union speech will likely be his ability to keep his energy up for the entire address.

“Biden has two huge challenges. The first is a performance challenge. He’ll gain a little bit if he gives a good speech with energy and can actually stand there for an hour and a half,” Gingrich said Thursday during an interview on Fox News’s “America Reports.”

“But he will lose an enormous amount if at any point in the speech, he clearly stumbles, has a cognitive problem or in some way loses track of what he’s saying. So, in that sense, a personal performance component of this speech is probably the most important single factor,” he continued.

Gingrich’s remarks came just hours ahead of Biden’s expected State of the Union address at the Capitol on Thursday night. The address is widely seen as a chance for the president to sell voters on his administration’s accomplishments in his first term, while also assuring them he is best equipped for another four years in the Oval Office.

Biden faces rising concerns about his age and mental acuity, especially in the past month after a special counsel report described the president as “an elderly man with a poor memory.”

A recent New York Times/Siena College poll found 73 percent of registered voters polled strongly or somewhat believed Biden, 81, is too old to be president, including 56 percent of Democrats.

About 43 percent of registered voters in the survey said the same about former President Trump, who is poised to be Biden’s presidential challenger after former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, Trump’s only remaining GOP challenger, suspended her campaign earlier this week.

Gingrich, a longtime ally of Trump, argued Biden’s second challenge of the speech will be that “whatever he says, he’s in conflict with reality.”

“It’s a reality that an illegal immigrant that Biden allowed to come into his country killed a young college student at the University of Georgia. It’s a reality that Venezuelans that Biden allowed to come into this country beat up a New York policeman. You go down the list, the average person knows that it’s a reality that food is too expensive,” he said.

Gingrich was referencing the recent death of 22-year-old Laken Riley, who was found dead near the University of Georgia campus after not returning from a run. Jose Ibarra, a 26-year-old Venezuelan citizen was later arrested and charged with murder in connection to her death.

U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement (UCBP) said Ibarra entered the country illegally in September 2022 near El Paso, Texas, from Mexico and was released for further processing after being detained. Trump and his GOP allies have attempted to use Riley’s death to criticize Biden’s border security policies.

Gingrich’s second reference was regarding a January brawl between New York City officers and a group of suspects, some of whom were believed to be migrants, though it was not confirmed by authorities.

“So, when you look at people’s reality, no matter how many words Biden says, he can’t unlock the failures that are directly affecting people, and that’s why I think he has a very, very big challenge tonight,” Gingrich said.

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