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Conservatives have known this for years. AXIOS reveals Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission

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Conservatives have known this for years. AXIOS reveals Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission.

By Alex Thompson

President Biden and his campaign are working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn’t trip.

Driving the news: As voters express deep concerns about the 80-year-old president’s age and fitness for office, Biden’s team is taking extra steps to prevent him from stumbling in public — as he did in June, when he tripped over a sandbag at the Air Force Academy.

  • With a physical therapist, Biden has been doing exercises to improve his balance as far back as November 2021.
  • Since his stumble in June, he has been wearing tennis shoes more often to avoid slipping — and using the short stairs on Air Force One, entering the plane on a lower deck than before.

Why it matters: Democrats, including some in the administration, are terrified that Biden will have a bad fall — with a nightmare scenario of it happening in the weeks before the November 2024 election.

Zoom in: Some senior Democrats privately have been frustrated with Biden’s advance team for months, citing the sandbag incident and noting that the president often appears not to know which direction to go after he speaks at a podium.

  • Biden works out many mornings with physical therapist Drew Contreras, who also worked with former President Obama.
  • Biden’s doctor has recommended exercises for balance, which he called “proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.”
  • What the maneuvers entail is unclear.
  • “I have never heard the term ‘proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers.’ It is not a clinical term in standard use,” said Professor James Gordon, associate dean and chair of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California.

Asked for more detail, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Axios: “This isn’t new — it was proactively and transparently disclosed in a 2021 report from the president’s doctor and again this year.”

Zoom out: Recent polls have shown Biden’s age is among voters’ chief concerns about him. Voters also have significant age concerns about former President Trump — the likely GOP nominee.

  • Three-fourths of Americans see Biden as too old for office, according to an AP-NORC poll last month.
  • And even with the short steps, he still stumbled a bit.
  • https://twitter.com/i/status/1706711533894488227
  • Edited for clarity.

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