Nancy Pelosi Says It's Fair To Ask Questions About Joe Biden's Health

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that questions about President Joe Biden’s ability to serve following last week’s debate with Donald Trump were “legitimate,” adding that those same questions should also be asked of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

“I think it’s a legitimate question to say, is this an episode or is this a condition? When people ask that question, it’s legitimate — of both candidates,” Pelosi told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell when asked if she had concerns about Biden.

“We should be tearing up what [Trump] said the other day, because it was a pack of lies,” she added. “It’s very hard to debate somebody when you have to undo or debunk everything they are saying. Both candidates owe whatever test you want to put them to, in terms of their mental acuity and their health.”

Biden and his aides are in damage-control mode after the president’s poor debate with Trump, seeking to reassure panicking Democrats and donors alike. Biden is scheduled to hold a call with Democratic governors later this week as questions mount in his party about his political future.

Pelosi on Tuesday said it was “essential” for Biden to sit down for interviews with journalists to reassure his party and the public of his ability to do the job. Biden is scheduled to sit for an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Friday.

A spokesperson for Pelosi told HuffPost after this article was published that the speaker “has full confidence in President Biden and looks forward to attending his inauguration on January 20, 2025.”

Although top Democrats are still publicly supporting Biden, there are signs that the dam may be beginning to crack. On Tuesday, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) became the first sitting House Democrat to call on Biden to withdraw from the race.

“Our overriding consideration must be who has the best hope of saving our democracy from an authoritarian takeover by a criminal and his gang,” Doggett said in a statement. “Too much is at stake to risk a Trump victory—too great a risk to assume that what could not be turned around in a year, what was not turned around in the debate, can be turned around now. President Biden saved our democracy by delivering us from Trump in 2020. He must not deliver us to Trump in 2024.”

Other rank-and-file lawmakers have also expressed concerns about Biden’s debate performance and his campaign’s efforts to silence his critics.

“We have to be honest with ourselves that it wasn’t just a horrible night,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) told CNN on Tuesday.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) also said he was “pretty horrified” by the debate.

“People want to make sure that … the president and his team are being candid about his condition that this was a real anomaly and not just the way he is these days,” the senator added.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that his party should stick with Biden on Tuesday, lending his support for the embattled president amid calls for him to withdraw from the race.

“I’m with Joe Biden,” Schumer said Tuesday at an event in Syracuse, New York, according to NBC News. “We’ve worked hard together for four years and delivered a lot for America and for central New York, I’m for Biden.”

Asked if he believes Biden is fit to serve another term, Schumer reportedly said, “Yes, I do.”