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Biden says his age does not register with him when requested about 2024 run : NPR


President Biden responded to questions on his age throughout a press convention on the White Home Rose Backyard on Wednesday. The president could be 86 by the tip of a second time period.

Drew Angerer/Getty Photos


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Drew Angerer/Getty Photos


President Biden responded to questions on his age throughout a press convention on the White Home Rose Backyard on Wednesday. The president could be 86 by the tip of a second time period.

Drew Angerer/Getty Photos

President Biden mentioned that his personal age does not register with him, regardless of current polling that reveals Individuals have concern over the president’s age as he runs for a second time period.

At a press convention with the South Korean president on Wednesday, Biden fielded questions from reporters about issues from voters.

“With regard to age, I am unable to even say I suppose how previous I’m, I am unable to even say the quantity. It does not register with me,” Biden mentioned on his age, including that individuals are going to look at the marketing campaign and choose for themselves.

“I respect them taking a tough take a look at it — I would take a tough take a look at it, as properly. I took a tough take a look at it earlier than I made a decision to run, and I really feel good. I really feel excited in regards to the prospects,” he mentioned.


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An NBC ballot launched this weekend discovered that 70% of Individuals don’t need Biden to run for reelection, with half of these citing age as a significant factor.

Biden was 29 when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972, turning into the fifth youngest particular person to take action. A long time later, at age 78, he grew to become the oldest dwelling president the day he was sworn into workplace. If elected to a second time period, he could be 86 by the tip of it.

The president mentioned the identical polling knowledge that reveals concern for his age additionally reveals help for what he is achieved in workplace.

“When the identical polling knowledge asks what sort of job I’ve achieved, it will get overwhelmingly constructive outcomes,” Biden mentioned at a press convention Wednesday.

The info from the NBC ballot reveals 41% of adults polled approve of Biden’s job efficiency and 54% disapprove, which is down from January. Biden appeared to separate that from approval of explicit legislative accomplishments, together with creating manufacturing jobs and local weather investments.

Biden works out 5 days every week and obtained a clear invoice of well being at his annual bodily earlier this yr, along with his doctor concluding that he “stays match for responsibility, and absolutely executes all of his obligations with none exemptions or lodging.”

That does not imply that his age will not be a difficulty on the marketing campaign path.

In reality, his age as an element is “indeniable,” says David Axelrod, chief strategist for President Obama’s campaigns and senior political commentator for CNN.

“Whenever you take a look at polling, once you watch focus teams, it is the factor that individuals carry up first,” he says. “We’re in uncharted waters, we have by no means had a president this previous.”

Nonetheless, Axelrod says, there are “upsides” to Biden’s age: knowledge, expertise and perspective.

“And at a time when there’s a lot churn and turmoil, these three qualities are belongings for him,” he instructed Morning Version‘s Steve Inskeep.

Cristina Tzinzún Ramirez, president of the progressive nonprofit NextGen America, says what’s most vital to younger voters is progressive coverage change — not age.

“Younger voters in the previous few elections have turned out in historic numbers. Younger folks overwhelmingly in 2020, throughout the Democratic main, supported the oldest candidate within the race, Bernie Sanders. After which they turned out in overwhelming numbers to vote for Joe Biden.”

Ramirez says she thinks younger folks will prove once more, as a result of Joe Biden has delivered on particular points they care about: gun reform, local weather change laws, marijuana reform and scholar debt cancellation. “Finally, that is what individuals are going to measure him by,” she mentioned.

Biden’s protection: “Watch me”

Questions on Biden’s age are nothing new. His opponents used it towards him when he ran in 2020, and have continued pointing to his on-camera stumbles to insinuate he’s affected by cognitive points (a line of assault that always backfires, as NPR has reported).

When requested about Biden’s age in a current White Home press briefing, White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned “It is the identical factor that we heard in 2020. Proper? Should you take a look at what the President has achieved this previous two years, he is been in a position to ship and get issues achieved.”

Axelrod argues that Biden’s method — notably in terms of issues like being much less reactive on social media — is a part of why voters elected him within the first place, and that these qualities have been what folks wished after the tenure of former President Donald Trump.

Biden’s method is principally “watch me,” Axelrod factors out, utilizing the phrase the president himself has used.

Axelrod describes being president as “the toughest job on the planet,” due to the countless hours and weighty selections. He says Biden’s workers would level to a few of his excessive factors as proof he can do it, corresponding to his February State of the Union tackle, by which he made a pitch to “end the job.”

“He stood on his toes for an hour, he engaged his hecklers and he was triumphant,” Axelrod says. “And that is what they will say is ‘simply watch him.'”

However that will not essentially be sufficient, says Axelrod, advising Biden to handle his age overtly, each the “apparent dangers” and the benefits.

“He typically says ‘do not choose me versus the almighty, choose me versus the choice,'” he provides. “And I believe that is what they’re relying on now, his strategists — that this is not going to be a referendum on Joe Biden, that is going to be a alternative. And the selection very properly would be the identical alternative we confronted 4 years in the past.”

Trump is not a younger man both

Trump, the present frontrunner within the Republican main subject, is simply 4 years youthful than Biden. He might be 77 in June.

A rematch between the 2 is trying seemingly, with a current NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist ballot discovering that two-thirds of Republicans would nonetheless vote for Trump even when he’s discovered responsible of against the law.

His age could possibly be a priority for voters too, Axelrod says, noting that former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is making “generational change a basic side of her marketing campaign.”

In her kickoff speech, Haley referred to as for “necessary psychological competency checks” for candidates over the age of 75.

Axelrod believes others will make an analogous argument about Trump’s age, “as a result of you’ll be able to’t actually exploit this vulnerability as properly in Biden in case you run a candidate who’s principally the identical age.”

And if both get together finally ends up with a youthful candidate, can they make the argument that it is time to transfer on from the politics of the previous?

“They’ll make that argument and I believe it’s going to land with some voters,” Axelrod says. “They usually’ll select between that and people qualities I discussed earlier than: knowledge, expertise and perspective.”

Kaity Kline contributed manufacturing and reporting, and John Helton and Miranda Kennedy edited.

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