Biden isn’t making Americans feel any better.
On Monday, President Joe Biden marked his 81st birthday with a series of light-hearted jokes about his age. Despite concerns raised by polls and some members of his own party about the potential impact of his age on the upcoming election, the White House defended Biden’s capabilities.
According to AP, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized that the focus should be on the president’s experience rather than his age. She pointed out Biden’s successful efforts in pushing significant legislation through Congress and highlighted his visits to active war zones in Ukraine and Israel.
“We have to judge him by what he’s done, not by his numbers,” Jean-Pierre stated. “I would put the president’s stamina, the president’s wisdom, ability to get this done on behalf of the American people, against anyone. Anyone, any day of the week.”
President Biden chose to respond with humor during the birthday celebration, joking about the challenges of turning 60 and making light of his age in a playful manner.
Despite attempts to downplay the issue, polls indicate public concern about Biden’s age. An August poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that a significant percentage of U.S. adults, including Democrats, viewed Biden as too old for an effective four-year term.
As the possibility of a second term looms, Biden might face a rematch with former President Donald Trump, who, at 77, is only slightly younger. Trump, in contrast, released a letter from his physician emphasizing his excellent overall health, cognitive exams, and positive lifestyle choices.
Notable figures, including David Axelrod, a key player in Barack Obama’s presidential victory, expressed reservations about Biden’s chances in 2024. Axelrod suggested a 50-50 likelihood, cautioning against underestimating the risks associated with Biden’s age.
While the White House maintains confidence in Biden’s capabilities, acknowledging negative polling, Jean-Pierre insisted that there’s no cause for alarm behind the scenes. Biden’s reelection campaign, initiated in April, continues to move forward, with the president expressing a focus on the race itself rather than concerns about his age.
As the president and his family celebrated his birthday with a traditional gathering on Nantucket, Jean-Pierre reiterated that the ultimate judgment lies with the American people. She emphasized, “We’re not going to change the minds of Americans. Americans are going to feel how they feel, and we respect that.”