November 29, 2023

Biden celebrates his 81st birthday with jokes as the White House stresses his experience and stamina

WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden celebrated his 81st birthday on Monday by way of joking again and again about his complex age, even as the White House strongly defended his stamina and batted away polling — and one distinguished Democrat — suggesting that the factor may price him votes in subsequent 12 months’s election.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned the president’s age must now not be a number one focal point.
“Our perspective is, it’s not about age, it’s about the president’s experience,” she mentioned whilst highlighting that Biden had effectively championed via Congress a number of primary items of regulation — together with a sweeping public works bundle and initiative on public well being and fighting local weather exchange — and visited energetic conflict zones now not managed by way of the U.S. army in Ukraine and Israel.
“What we say is we have to judge him by what he’s done, not by his numbers,” Jean-Pierre mentioned. “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.”
Biden, for his phase, went for humor.
“By the way, it’s my birthday today,” Biden instructed a crowd on the White House South Lawn as he pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys Liberty and Bell.
“I simply need you to grasp, it’s tough turning 60,” the president added with a chuckle. “Difficult.”
Noting that the pre-Thanksgiving pardoning ceremony dated back 76 years, Biden also said, “I want you to know I wasn’t there — for the first one.”
The oldest president in U.S. history, Biden for months has used humor to try to defuse the issue — even as polls suggest it’s no laughing matter. An August poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 77% of U.S. adults, including 69% of Democrats, viewed Biden as too old to be effective for four more years.
As he seeks a second term, Biden could be headed for a rematch with former President Donald Trump, who is 77 and was the oldest person elected to a first term until Biden was. Trump has himself made some recent, notable gaffes. Yet the same AP-NROC poll found that 51% of adults — and just 28% of Republicans — said Trump was too old for a second term.
To coincide with Biden’s birthday, Trump released a new letter from his physician reporting that the former president’s “overall health is excellent.”
“His physical exams were well within the normal range and his cognitive exams were exceptional,” wrote New Jersey Dr. Bruce A. Aronwald, who said he has been Trump’s doctor since 2001 and most recently examined him on Sept. 13.
Aronwald added that Trump’s most recent lab results were “even more favorable than prior testing on some of the most significant parameters,” citing recent weight loss that he credited to “improved diet and continued daily physical exercise, while maintaining a rigorous schedule.”
The letter doesn’t mention Trump’s weight, blood pressure, or other test results yet still asserts that he “will continue to enjoy a healthy active lifestyle for years to come.”
Trump is not the just one highlighting the factor.
David Axelrod, who helped Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008 and later served as a most sensible White House adviser in an management that incorporated Biden as vp, used to be particularly frank lately in feedback to The New York Times.
“I feel he has a 50-50 shot right here, however no higher than that, perhaps slightly worse,” Axelrod instructed columnist Maureen Dowd of Biden’s 2024 probabilities. “He thinks he can cheat nature here and it’s really risky. They’ve got a real problem if they’re counting on Trump to win it for them. I remember Hillary doing that, too.”
That used to be a connection with Hillary Clinton, who misplaced her 2016 race with Trump.
Jean-Pierre mentioned Monday that the Bidens would spend the president’s birthday as they historically have, with a circle of relatives collecting for Thanksgiving on Nantucket, and that they deliberate to have coconut cake, some other custom.
But she additionally tried to bat away Axelrod’s remark whilst announcing of detrimental polling about 2024, “There’s no alarm happening behind the scenes.”
“I’m not going to comment on everyone that has a comment,” she said, adding, “It’s not my job to tell people what to think.”
Biden introduced his reelection marketing campaign in April and mentioned then that his age “doesn’t register with me.”
“They’re going to see a race, and they’re going to judge whether or not I have it or don’t have it,” the president mentioned of citizens. “I respect them taking a hard look at it. I’d take a hard look at it as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run.”
Jean-Pierre reiterated that citizens will make up their very own minds, announcing, “We’re not going to change the minds of Americans. Americans are going to feel how they feel, and we respect that.”