Joe Biden talked about something he has rarely addressed on a national stage, his stutter. During a CNN town hall Wednesday night he said, “It’s a debilitating situation.” He says its impacted his political life, but he has worked through it, “The hardest thing to do is to talk on the telephone or to read out loud, to look at a paper and have to read something.”
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) February 6, 2020
Watch the full town hall exchange above.
The Atlantic’s John Hendrickson, who also has a stutter, interviewed Biden last year about his speech condition. He is resurrecting that piece today. In it, he points out how after one debate where Biden stuttered, Fox News made fun of the candidate:
Fox News edited these moments into a mini montage. Stifling laughter, the host Steve Hilton narrated: “As the right words struggled to make that perilous journey from Joe Biden’s brain to Joe Biden’s mouth, half the time he just seemed to give up with this somewhat tragic and limp admission of defeat.”
Hendrickson himself has avoided doing live TV segments due to his stutter, but he bravely went on CNN today to talk about his conversation with Biden.
People who stutter often avoid certain words, which Joe Biden also seems to do, explains @JohnGHendy, who also struggles with it.
“People don’t know what to make of that if they don’t understand stuttering.”https://t.co/tpqo21Y2wU pic.twitter.com/Qxj4gVAOgA
— New Day (@NewDay) February 6, 2020