Trump tweet reemerges criticising Obama's movements as president defends bizarre ramp walk

Critics compare president's walk down a ramp to Obama and Biden running up it in apples-to-oranges comparisons

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Monday 15 June 2020 16:18
Trump appears to have trouble walking down ramp at West Point ceremony

Donald Trump once criticised Barack Obama's gait even as he defends himself from criticism over his struggle to descend a ramp after delivering a commencement speech to West Point cadets on Saturday.

The president walked gingerly down, taking one step at a time as he chatted with Army Lt Gen Darryl A Williams, the school's superintendent. The incident raised new questions about the president's health, especially as it came minutes after he struggled to drink from a glass of water with just his right hand.

But as Mr Trump amplified the matter by defending himself in a Saturday evening tweet, which drew even more media coverage, he once criticised Barack Obama for his presidential movements.

"The way President Obama runs down the stairs of Air Force 1, hopping & bobbing all the way, is so inelegant and unpresidential. Do not fall!" Trump tweeted in April 2014, two years into Mr Obama's second term.

Critics are comparing that old Trump tweet to the one he fired off in defence of what the social media world dubbed #rampgate.

"The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery," he wrote once back at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, where he spend a long weekend. "The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!"

Critics of Trump continue sharing videos of his 2020 general election foe and predecessor having little trouble ascending a ramp at West Point that the president slowly walked down on Saturday.

But those are not apples-to-apples comparisons since Mr Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden are jogging or walking quickly up the ramp.

The glass and ramp incidents came after the White House a few weeks prior released a slimmed-down version of the typical documents spelling out the results of a presidential physical examination. That memo described Mr Trump, who turned 74 years old on Sunday, as in good health.

But aides have never clearly described why the president made an abrupt trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center near Washington late last year.

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