Biden on His Age: ‘It Doesn’t Even Register’ With Me

April 27, 2023 by Dan McCue
Biden on His Age: ‘It Doesn’t Even Register’ With Me
President Joe Biden in the White House Rose Garden. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden spoke publicly for the first time about his 2024 campaign on Wednesday, telling reporters gathered in the White House Rose Garden that as far as his age is concerned, voters are “going to judge whether or not I have it or don’t have it.”

Biden spoke about his age and its potential impact on the upcoming presidential election during a joint press conference with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who was on an official state visit to the White House.

Though the two leaders only took questions from four reporters, ABC’s Mary Bruce took full advantage of being among those selected, pressing Biden on recent polls that suggest 70% of Americans, including a majority of Democrats, believe he shouldn’t run again.

“What do you say to them?” Bruce asked. “What do you say to those Americans who are watching and aren’t convinced? … You said you can beat Trump again.”

“I may not be the only one, but I know him well and I know the danger he represents to our democracy. We’ve been down that road before,” Biden said. 

“Now with regard to the polls, I notice that the polling I keep hearing about is that I’m between 40% and 46%. There’s nothing new about that. You’re making it sound like Biden’s really underwater,” he said.

“That’s number one. Number two is, when the same pollsters asked what kind of job people thought I was doing, I got overwhelmingly positive results, somewhere around 58%,” Biden continued.

“Now, that’s a reflection of an economic growth movement, of our having created 800,000 new manufacturing jobs … of our having invested more money and doing more to help in addressing the climate crisis than any other nation … but there’s more to do and that’s why I’m running,” the president said.

Biden, who will turn 81 this November and who will be 86 by the end of his second term if elected, then went on to address the age question.

“I can’t even say how old I am. It doesn’t register,” he said as a broad smile spread over his face.

“The only thing I can say about that is …I respect their taking a hard look at it. I took a long hard look at it as well before I decided to run,” Biden said.

“But I feel good. I am excited about the prospects, and I think we’re on the verge of really turning the corner in a way we haven’t been for a long time,” the president said.

“I know you’re tired of me saying we’re at an inflection point and that what happens in the next, two, three and four years will affect what the next three or four decades look like, but it’s true … and I’ve never been more optimistic in my life about what the future looks like,” he said. 

Asked whether he’d still be running if Trump was not, the president said he’d be running regardless of his predecessor’s decision.

“The question is whether there’s still more to do to put ourselves in a position where we will be economically and politically secure for a long time to come,” Biden said. “It’s something I know a fair amount about, something I care about … and it’s something that we have to nail down.”

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue

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