David Axelrod, a former top adviser to President Barack Obama, seemed incensed on Thursday after seeing a report that some of former Vice President Joe Biden's allies proposed that the 2020 frontrunner scale back appearances amid a series of public gaffes.
"This is bad advice. You can’t cloister the candidate and win," tweeted Axelrod, who served alongside Biden during the Obama years.
"He either can cut it or he can’t, and the only way he can prove he can is to be an active and vigorous candidate. He’s running for president of the United States, for God’s sake!"
For weeks, Biden has faced a flurry of attention surrounding verbal slip-ups that some claimed were common across his political tenure. For example, Biden claimed to support "truth over facts" and incorrectly stated that two high-profile mass shootings occurred in Michigan and Houston.
President Trump, who has himself made some verbal slips, nonetheless highlighted the issue on Saturday when he asked his Twitter followers whether anybody actually believed the former vice president was "mentally fit" to serve as commander-in-chief.
When asked about the gaffes, a senior Biden adviser dismissed those concerns as part of a "press narrative." "I want to be very clear; this is a press narrative, not a voter narrative," senior adviser Symone Sanders responded. "If you were to look at the coverage in Iowa this weekend and juxtapose the local newspapers and local television coverage to national media coverage, you would have thought these reporters were at two different events.”
Axelrod similarly took aim at Biden's handling of federal funding for abortion. Biden has long supported the Hyde Amendment but video surfaced of him telling an activist that he would oppose it as president. Biden later said that he didn't hear the activist's question and eventually reversed his decadeslong support for the historically bipartisan measure.
"So, that was a flip-flop-flip which is never a good thing in politics and it raises questions about his own performance and his own steadiness and his campaign's performance," Axelrod said.
Fox News' Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.