Biden's reliance on notecards to answer questions at fundraisers worries some donors: Report

'Staged Q&A sessions' at private fundraisers have some donors concerned about upcoming campaign: Axios

President Biden's reliance on his notes to give detailed answers at private fundraisers has left some donors worried about his viability, according to a new report.

Biden is prone to consulting notecards after calling on pre-selected donors who have questions at the closed-door events, Axios reported on Friday.

"Biden's reliance on notecards to help explain his own policy positions — on questions he knows are coming — is raising concerns among some donors about Biden's age," the article stated.

It's the latest media report about Biden on that front, despite recent White House bristling over such talk. The story added most recent presidents have had "cheat sheets" of sorts to refer to at public events and press conferences.


Biden's usual habit at lofty fundraisers is to make remarks with reporters in the room, who are then escorted out. The remaining donors can then ask a few questions that have already been vetted by Biden's staff. His staffers have said the notes are simply a way of making sure he's as prepared as possible for what's coming.


U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the Senate's recent passage of the National Security Supplemental Bill, which provides military aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 13, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The report added the "staged Q&A sessions" have left some donors worried that he won't be up to another presidential campaign that is in a far different environment than the one in 2020. 

At 81, Biden is already the oldest president in American history, and the White House reeled earlier this month after a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur about his handling of classified materials referred to the president as a "sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory" who could not remember the timing of important life events.

The Biden campaign shrugged off the Axios report in a statement to the outlet, with a spokesperson saying, "In news that matters to the American people when it comes to the 2024 election today: Three IVF clinics in Alabama ceased operations out of fear of criminal prosecution by the state — all at the feet of Donald Trump," a reference to a decision from the Alabama Supreme Court that under state law, frozen embryos are considered children.

One donor, Fred D. Hochberg, told Axios that Biden spoke off the cuff and wasn't "scripted at all" when he saw him speak privately in Manhattan last month.


No one was quoted on the record in the report expressing worry about Biden, perhaps because of fear of offending a White House that's been highly sensitive about such stories. Multiple communications officials have publicly lashed out at the media for its focus on the issue in recent weeks, with White House Counsel spokesman Ian Sams even sending a letter to the White House Correspondent's Association (WHCA) complaining that news outlets were "misreporting" its findings. 

Polling shows a strong majority of the country thinks he's too old to serve another term; a recent survey found 86 percent thought Biden was aged out, while 62 percent said the same of former President Trump, who's just four years younger than his rival.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

President Biden, 81, and former President Trump, 77, appear headed for a rematch in 2024. (Getty Images)

Biden has made news at some of the fundraising events when particularly significant comments are leaked to the outside world.

He called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "crazy SOB" this week at a fundraiser in San Francisco, prompting a flurry of angry responses from the Kremlin and Putin’s allies. 

"This is the last existential threat. It is climate. We have a crazy SOB that guy, Putin, others. And we always have to be worried about a nuclear conflict," Biden said. "But the existential threat to humanity is climate." 

Biden also criticized Putin and his allies last week following the mysterious death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in prison, saying Putin's "thugs" were likely responsible in some way.

The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

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