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Biden's Campaign Sure Is Having a Hard Time Speaking to Concerns About His Age

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

We still continue to be told that President Joe Biden is running for reelection. This is despite how concerns abound over the president's age, who, at 80-years-old, very much looks and sounds like our nation's oldest president. To raise the issue is not some Republican talking point. Polls, including recently released ones, show that even Biden's fellow Democrats are concerned about his age. Despite the uncomfortable reality that they must contend with, those involved in re-electing Biden, and those at the White House, aren't exactly speaking to the issue as they should be.

Cedric Richmond, formerly a senior adviser for the White House, now serves as a co-chair for Biden's reelection campaign. While speaking to host Martha Raddatz on Sunday for ABC News' "This Week," the two discussed whether Biden's age was an issue, or at least Raddatz tried to have that discussion.

"Biden's age, once again, is an issue. They brought that up in the debate, as well," Raddatz said, referring to last Wednesday's first RNC debate. "How do you get through that when Biden's out – when President Biden is out on the campaign trail, in particular, which can be very taxing?" This question came after Raddatz and Richmond sparred on the issue of how people perceive the economy – which is not good – but Raddatz felt the need to "move on."

Instead of speaking to such concerns, Richmond instead took the chance to discuss what he wanted the campaign to focus on, dismissing voters' concerns in the process. 

"Well...while they talk about age, we will talk about the things that Americans are talking about, and that's kitchen table issues," Richmond kicked off his non-answer. 

The campaign co-chair only got deeper into partisan politics from there, as he turned to a slew of narratives often used by Biden himself. "While they continue to talk about age, we'll continue to talk about the fact that they're not talking about banning assault weapons, while they're banning books but they're not protecting our children in schools, the fact that none of them raised their hand to talk about climate as a real issue when we see fires in Maui, we see hurricanes hitting California, we see the destruction of wildfires. But they're not talking about that," Richmond continued. 

No, Republicans are "not talking about banning assault weapons," especially because it didn't even work when such a ban was in place previously, no matter how many times Biden has falsely claimed otherwise. 

"Banning books" is another oft-repeated narrative. What Richmond failed to mention is that the books being objected to are sexually explicit and not age appropriate and ones parents have raised concerns about. In Florida, which is often the ire of this White House and other Democrats, parents can challenge books as inappropriate, and school districts must annually report to the state about such books. 

Richmond went with yet another Democratic talking point by blaming climate change for the wildfires in Maui and other disasters. There's been no shortage of human error there, though. It's also surprising that the Biden campaign would choose to discuss Maui, given how the president was on vacation when the fires were taking place, responded "no comment" and smirked at the inquiring press, and, once he finally got there, made the tragedy about himself by sharing wildly embellished stories. 

"So those are the things we're going to focus on," Richmond summarized as time ran out. "We're going to focus on the issues at hand. And we'll talk about the fact that this president wants to protect women's reproductive freedom; we will talk about the fact that he put Ketanji Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court; and that labor, climate groups and women's organizations...have endorsed him already," he continued, mentioning more leftist talking points about promoting abortion and nominating Supreme Court justices based on sex and race. 

The interview concluded before Richmond could crash and burn any further.

As mentioned above, though, those talking about Biden's age are members of his own party. Shortly before Biden announced he was running for reelection back in April, even The New York Times, often a Biden friendly outlet, released damning information. This included polls showing how age played a factor when it comes to Americans not wanting Biden to run.

Then there's a more recent poll – from earlier this week, in fact. AP-NORC just released a poll showing that 77 percent of adults said Biden "is too old to effectively serve another 4-year term as president," which includes 69 percent of Democrats. 

The poll has gained considerable attention, and not in the good way, when it comes to Biden's reelection prospects.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the poll during Monday's press briefing. "Does the White House have additional plans to demonstrate that he can continue to, you know, do the job at his advanced age and, kind of, allay some of those concerns," a reporter asked.

"I mean, look – look, I appreciate the question...I get it often, as you know," she claimed, despite not giving a satisfactory answer. "And what I would say – and I’ve said this many times, and many of my colleagues have said this, the president says this: If you watch him, if you’ve seen what he’s done in the last two years, this is – the president has had an historic administration in just two years," Jean-Pierre offered.

Like Richmond did, Jean-Pierre spoke to supposed successes from the Biden administration, though that included mentioning a claim often fact-checked as false when it comes to the president and job creation. In reality, these are jobs recuperated from the pandemic. She also promoted the woefully misnamed Inflation Reduction Act and told the press to "look at how he’s been able to turn the economy around so that it works for middle-class Americans." 

"And so, that’s what we will happily – happily to discuss as we – as it relates to age, what the president has been able to do and how he’s been able to deliver," Jean-Pierre added. She and the White House might be happy, but that doesn't mean that the American people are.

Another co-chair, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), was asked about that poll during his Tuesday appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Coons, like Richmond and Jean-Pierre, spoke to Biden's supposed accomplishments, rather than answer the question asked by co-anchor Willie Geist.

"What concerns do you have, if any, and how is the campaign going to take this issue head on," Geist asked, also adding that "this is a real issue that people are talking about, publicly and privately."

"Well, President Biden is taking this issue head on by continuing to lead, by continuing to show at home and abroad that he is a capable president," Coons offered, in part. It got even more cringeworthy from there, as Coons claimed that "we haven't had as seasoned and capable a leader on the world stage in many years."

It looks like the talking points have gone out, then. 


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