Everyone knows that live television isn’t easy. Anything can go wrong—from a faulty connection, a verbal slip-up, or, as was the case on Tuesday morning’s Fox & Friends, Rudy Giuliani bellowing insane conspiracy theories at the nation with no obvious way to stop him.
It’s always a risk to allow Giuliani to share his wildly unpredictable stream of consciousness live. The man who was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2001 has long since been reduced to sharing the latest Trumpist conspiracy theories on any cable news channel that has the budget to cover any possible subsequent defamation lawsuits.
This time, his F&F hosts looked on with visible horror in their eyes as Giuliani shared his completely baseless belief that Joe Biden is suffering from dementia. If you have the time, it’s worth watching the clip at least three times so you can see each of the hosts panicking in their own unique way as the former New York City mayor rambles on and on.
With a mischievous cackle, Giuliani began: “The man [Biden] has dementia. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve talked to doctors. I’ve had them look at a hundred different tapes of his five years ago and today.” Trying his very best to shut Giuliani down, host Steve Doocy interjected that Biden’s team has said the Democrat has no serious medical problems.
Giuliani then made an extraordinary noise at Doocy that can best be typed as “Oowughawughawugh,” before continuing: “He can’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance and he’s fine? He was in the Senate for 160 years? I mean, he can’t do the prologue to the... to the... con... to the... uh... Constitution of the United States or the Declaration of Independence, any of them.”
Getting louder and increasingly excited about his armchair diagnosis, Giuliani went on: “He can’t do NUMBERS. Wow, are the numbers screwed up. He actually displays symptoms that two gerontologists told me are classic symptoms of middle level dementia.” Doocy and co-host Ainsley Earhardt both responded to that claim by softly saying, “Right.” The third host, Brian Kilmeade, can just be seen blinking rapidly.
Nevertheless, Giuliani persisted. “That’s when [Biden] does that ‘I pledge allegiance to the United States... uh... uh... um... I think,’ he’s done that twice,” said the ex mayor. “That’s a classic symptom in the DSM-V, it’s the fifth symptom, of dementia, he’s got eight of the 10.”
Then, seemingly remembering that he was on the show to talk about tonight’s presidential debate, he went on: “Look, that isn’t the debate. He can get through it. I think the president is quite right to say maybe he’s taken Adderall or some kind of attention deficit disorder thing.”
As Giuliani began pulling prescription medicine brands out of the air, Doocy had finally had enough and told him firmly, “None of us are doctors, that is your opinion.” Giuliani fought back, saying it was actually the opinion of some very professional-sounding doctors that he knows.
But the game was up. Kilmeade, in his first verbal interjection of the entire exchange, said with exasperation, “We can stay away from that.” Earhardt then moved on to pick Giuliani’s brain on the Supreme Court.
This particular line of attack is one that Giuliani—whose work as President Trump’s lawyer and top dirt-digger on Hunter and Joe Biden kicked off a chain of events that got his client impeached last year—has enthusiastically embraced as one of his primary functions now for Team Trump.
Shortly before midnight on Monday night, Giuliani started texting The Daily Beast to say that Trump did “great” in recent White House debate prep (for which the president said on Sunday that Giuliani and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie took part), and to rail against Biden as a “senile,” “broken down old crook” who’s supposedly suffering from “dementia” and needs “ADD drugs” to get through the Tuesday debate. The Trump attorney also claimed that someone had told him how stupid Biden was in law school.
Giuliani also mentioned late Monday evening that he’d be flying with Trump on Air Force One on Tuesday and would be at the Cleveland debate. Asked about what kinds of questions he peppered the president with during the prep, the former New York City mayor replied, “It really doesn’t work like that with him. It’s much more of a discussion rather than a rehearsal. Plus you are dealing with a very smart, very alert human being, not a senile old man.”