Washington (AFP) – Pres Joe Biden He celebrated his 81st birthday on Monday by repeatedly joking about his advanced age, even as the White House vigorously defended his stamina and dismissed pollsters — and one prominent Democrat — suggesting the issue could cost him votes in this year’s election. Next.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the president’s age should not be the primary focus.
“Our view is that it’s not about age, it’s about the experience of the president,” she said, while highlighting that Biden has successfully advocated for this through Congress. Several key pieces of legislation – including a comprehensive public works package and an initiative on public health and combating climate change – and visited active war zones not controlled by the US military in Ukraine And Israel.
“What we are saying is that we have to judge him by what he did, not by his numbers,” Jean-Pierre said. “I would put the president’s stamina, his wisdom, his ability to get this done on behalf of the American people against anyone. “Anyone, any day of the week.”
As for Biden, he resorted to humor.
“By the way, it’s my birthday today,” Biden told a crowd of people on the South Lawn of the White House. Sorry Thanksgiving Türkiye Liberty and Bell.
“I just want you to know that it’s hard to be 60,” the president added, laughing. “difficult.”
Noting that the pre-Thanksgiving pardon ceremony dates back 76 years, Biden also said: “I want you to know that I wasn’t there — the first time.”
The oldest president in the history of the United States, Biden For several months, I used humor to try to defuse the problem – Even though opinion polls indicate that this is no laughing matter. that August poll A report from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 77% of American adults, including 69% of Democrats, view Biden as too old to be effective for another four years.
As he seeks a second term, Biden may as well Head to the rematch With the former president Donald TrumpAt 77 years old, he was the oldest person to be elected to a first term until Biden. Trump has the same He made some recent notable missteps. However, the same AP-NROC poll found that 51% of adults — and just 28% of Republicans — said Trump is too old for a second term.
Coinciding with Biden’s birthday, Trump issued a new message from his doctor stating that “the former president’s general health is excellent.”
“His physical examinations were within the normal range and his cognitive tests were exceptional,” wrote Dr. Bruce Aronwald of New Jersey, who said he had been Trump’s physician since 2001 and examined him as recently as September 2016. 13.
Aronwald added that Trump’s latest laboratory results were “more positive than previous tests on some of the most important parameters,” citing his recent weight loss, which he attributed to “improving diet and continuing daily physical exercise, while maintaining a strict schedule.”
The letter does not mention Trump’s weight, blood pressure or other test results, however it asserts that he “will continue to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle for years to come.”
Trump is not the only one highlighting this issue.
David Axelrod, who helped Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008 and later served as a senior White House adviser in an administration that included Biden as vice president, has been particularly outspoken recently in his comments to The New York Times.
“I think his chance here is about 50-50, but no better, maybe a little worse.” Axelrod umbrella Columnist Maureen Dowd on Biden’s chances in the 2024 election. “He thinks he can cheat nature here and that’s really risky. They’re in real trouble if they’re relying on Trump to win it for them.” “I remember Hillary did that, too.”
That was a reference to Hillary Clinton, who lost her race in 2016 with Trump.
Jean-Pierre He said Monday that the Biden family would spend the president’s birthday as usual, with a family Thanksgiving gathering on Nantucket, and that they planned to eat coconut cake, another tradition.
But she also tried to refute Axelrod’s comment when she said of negative polling around 2024: “There’s no alarm going on behind the scenes.”
“I’m not going to comment to everyone who has a comment,” she said, adding: “It’s not my job to tell people what to think.”
Biden announced his re-election campaign in April, and said at the time that his age “doesn’t register with me.”
“They’re going to watch a race, and they’re going to be judging whether I’m going to get it or not,” the president said of voters. “I respect them when they take a hard look at it. I’ll take a hard look at that too. “I took a hard look at it before I decided to run.”
Jean-Pierre reiterated that voters will make their own decision, saying: “We will not change the minds of the Americans. The Americans will feel what they feel, and we respect that.”
Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report from New York.