Biden, 80, admits he ‘can’t even say’ his age when asked if he is too old to run again – and says Trump needs to be defeated because he is a ‘danger to democracy’
- Biden, 80, shrugs off concerns about his age
- ‘I can’t even say the number, it doesn’t register with me,’ he said
- He announced on Tuesday he was seeking a second term in office
Joe Biden, who at 80 is the oldest president in American history, downplayed concerns about his age on Wednesday, saying ‘it doesn’t register with me.’
The president announced on Tuesday he was seeking a second term in office and, if he wins, he would 86 when he leaves the White House. Some Democrats have expressed concern about Biden’s age and health status, questioning if Biden is their best bet as the nominee.
But Biden shrugged off a question about his advanced years during a press conference with South Korean President Yoon Sun Yeol.
‘With regard to age, I can’t even say — I guess how old I am, I can’t even say the number, it doesn’t register with me,’ he said. He added he expected voters ‘to take a hard look at it, I would as well. I looked at it before I decided to run.’
President Joe Biden, 80, shrugs off concerns about his age
His doctor has pronounced him fit to serve but Biden has shown signs he’s feeling his years: he sometimes walks with a limp, he has tripped walking up the stairs to board Air Force One, and he’s made multiple verbal gaffes.
But in the next year he’ll be on public display in a way he wasn’t during the 2020 election when he campaigned from zoom meetings and in rare car rallies because of the dangers of COVID.
The American people will regularly see him out and about, interacting with voters and showing he’s fit to serve.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Biden also he’s running because Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, presents a ‘threat to democracy.’
He conceded he ‘may not be the only’ Democrat who could beat Trump but added: ‘I know him well and I know the danger he presents to our democracy.
He said he’d still be running even if Trump wasn’t seeking a rematch of their 2020 contest.
‘Yeah, I think I still be running if he wasn’t,’ he said. ‘I think we have to finish the job, nail it down.’
And he dismissed questions about his favourability rating, which hangs in the low 40s, saying his predecessors had similar numbers.
‘I noticed the polling data I keep hearing about is I’m between 42 and 46% favorable rating,’ he said, ‘but everybody running for re-election in this time has been the same position, nothing new about that.’
Biden, in his announcement video on Tuesday, echoed many of his 2020 campaign themes – including a focus on the ‘battle for democracy’ – in a sign Biden and his team think Trump may be their competition in the general election.
U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol hold a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House
President Biden said he would be running for re-election even if Donald Trump (above) wasn’t seeking a rematch
Republicans, meanwhile, have questioned Biden’s age and his health status as the campaign heats up.
Some, like presidential candidate Nikki Haley, have called on candidates over the age of 75 to take a cognitive test.
The GOP also is expected to use Biden’s age as way to question Kamala Harris’s fitness to be commander in chief. She is expected to be a target in the campaign as Republicans ask Americans if they feel comfortable with her next in line for the presidency.
And whether or not she turns out to be a political liability – as some Democrats fear – remains to be seen.
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