Several Republican and Democrat lawmakers told Fox News Digital they don’t think President Biden’s age is a big deal ahead of the 2024 presidential election, even amid persistent questions on if he is too old.
The lawmakers differed greatly on their assessments of the merits of Biden’s presidency. But when asked by Fox News Digital if they think voters should take the president’s age into account – as some Republicans are even calling for Biden to take a cognitive test – they said voters should focus on his performance.
“I think he’s doing a good job,” Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., told Fox News Digital. “I think most people realize that you can do a lot of things in our society – whether it’s to run a government or run a company – when you’re a little older than some.”
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“He’s a terrible president, which, you know, probably doesn’t have anything to do with this age,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said. “I think… the talk about his age is a way that Democrats are coming to terms with the fact that he is not fit to be president. He’s been a terrible president, his policies are awful.”
Hawley added: “They can’t bring themselves to admit that their policies are awful, because all the Democrats support those same policies.”
Nevertheless, Biden’s regularly makes gaffes, ranging from the inane, like appearing to try to shake hands with a person who is not there, to the severe, like saying the U.S. may tolerate a “minor incursion” from Russia into Ukraine. The White House has often needed to walk back the president’s statements right after he makes them.
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Meanwhile, multiple media outlets are reporting that Biden’s age is a top worry among Democrats, even as the president insists he’ll run for reelection. Politico reported last month that Democrats are privately raising concerns about Biden’s age, as he approaches octogenarian status. And the New York Times reported this month that Biden’s age is a “deep concern” for Democrat officials.
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said that age should not be a significant factor for voters, but that Democrats are raising the issue is a problem for Biden.
“Regardless of your age, it’s what you’re capable of doing. Seniority should never be a reason for anything unless there are amazing results coming along with it from collective experience,” Braun said. “I think I’d be worried if I were him in that it looks like the movement is mostly coming from his own party. That would be concerning.”
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, R-Ill., meanwhile said Republicans should not be talking about cognitive tests while they still support former President Donald Trump.
“If we’re going to compare cognitiveness, let’s – you know, compared to what? Joe Biden versus former President Trump? Really? I haven’t seen him throw any food against the wall or lie to the American people over and over again.
“But beyond that, I know Joe Biden. He is absolutely, you know, full of his faculties, a wonderful communicator,” she said.
“I’m sure some will,” Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said of whether voters should consider Biden’s age in 2024. “But the fact of the matter is President Biden is an experienced and capable leader who has shepherded us through the pandemic. We’re at a point now where we have created jobs – we’ve recovered all of the jobs lost in the botched pandemic response of the Trump administration.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., meanwhile, declined to address concerns about Biden’s age.
“I don’t have any comment on that. No concerns,” Merkley said.