Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story implied the wrong profanity in reference to Axelrod. The term used by Biden is a five-letter p-word denoting male genitalia, not female ones.
Axelrod, a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and influential left-wing pundit, came out against Biden’s reelection bid this month after several polls showed Biden losing to former President Donald Trump in a number of swing states.
“Only @JoeBiden can make this decision,” Axelrod tweeted. “If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it’s in HIS best interest or the country’s?”
The Democratic strategist went on to cite public concern about the president’s age, which has been exacerbated by recent footage in which Biden has appeared discombobulated, confused, and tired.
“The one number in the polling that was concerning, and in the CNN poll that followed after the New York Times poll, had to do with age, and that is one thing you can’t reverse no matter how effective Joe Biden is behind the scenes,” Axelrod explained. “In front of the camera, what he’s projecting is causing people concerns, and that is worrisome.”
However, Axelrod’s concerns are becoming more and more common—even in the White House, according to the outlet.
“Calling David Axelrod ‘a p***k’—as a person who has heard Biden use the word says he does in private—is not a strategy to win 270 electoral votes,” Politico’s Jonathan Martin explained. “And repeating a PG version of the same animus in public while litigating polling with the White House press corps also won’t make Biden’s re-election any likelier.”
Martin pointed out that even “Democrat elites” are concerned about Biden’s age and the increasing cost of living.
“For Biden to use fundraisers, as he did Thursday, to deny his difficulties and complain about press coverage may be therapeutic, but it doesn’t make him any likelier to defeat Trump once more,” Martin added.
Biden’s own staff “doesn’t trust him to even try” governing and campaigning, “as they make clear by blocking him from the press,” Martin said.