New House speaker Mike Johnson knocks Biden's 'cognitive decline' but can't remember all the times he attacked LGBTQ relationships

  • Mike Johnson agreed with a Fox News host that Biden is showing signs of "cognitive decline."

  • Johnson told Sean Hannity, "That is reality, it is not a personal slight to him."

  • In the same interview, Johnson said couldn't remember a number of comments attacking LGBTQ Americans.

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday night agreed with Fox News host Sean Hannity that President Joe Biden is showing a "cognitive decline."

"I do. I think most of us do. That is reality, it is not a personal slight to him," Johnson told Hannity. "It has to do with age and acumen and everyone is different, everyone ages differently. Clearly, if you look at a tape of Joe Biden making an argument in the Senate Judiciary Committee a few years ago and you see a speech that he delivers now, there is a difference."

Biden has faced repeated questions about his age, given that he is the oldest president in the nation's history. The 80-year-old has responded by repeatedly trying to joke about his status.

Johnson, who unexpectedly rose to lead the House after weeks of drama, says he has only met Biden twice. Johnson said he chatted briefly with the president on Thursday. The Louisiana Republican stressed that he has nothing personally against Biden, though he cautioned that they have major political differences.

Hannity later asked Johnson about his past comments that questioned LGBTQ Americans. Johnson, who is an evangelical Christian, worked to thwart same-sex marriage and served in leadership roles with the Southern Baptist Convention.

CNN unearthed a number of columns in which Johnson expressed alarm about the then-growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and its advancement in some states.

"States have many legitimate grounds to proscribe same-sex deviate sexual intercourse," Johnson wrote in 2003, advocating for the criminalization of gay sex. Johnson also wrote that expanding marriage rights could lead " a person to marry his pet."

Asked about the comments, Johnson, perhaps conveniently, forgot years' worth of statements.

"I don't even remember some of them," Johnson said as Hannity stressed some of his comments came "15 years ago."

"I was a litigator that was called upon to defend the state marriage amendments," Johnson said.

The House speaker said that now views the issue of same-sex marriage as settled after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. 

"I respect the rule of law, I also genuinely love all people," Johnson said. "This is not about the people themselves this is about their lifestyle choices."

Spokespersons for the White House and for Johnson's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Johnson will have to work closely with Biden on a number of issues, including funding the federal government which is set to run out of money in just a matter of weeks.

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