During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned by CBS News White House correspondent Steven Portnoy about potential concerns regarding President Joe Biden's age, following his announcement of his reelection bid.
At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, President Biden made the formal announcement of his reelection bid through a social media advertisement. During a press briefing, the reporter inquired as to why the 80-year-old president is seeking reelection, referring to a recent CBS News poll which revealed that only 22% of Democrat-leaning voters are "excited" about his candidacy.
“The president is 80 years old … will be 86 at the end of his second term,” Portnoy asked. “A CBS News poll this morning shows that only 22% of Democratic-leaning voters are excited about the prospect of President Biden running for reelection. I want to ask you this — as a young man who is coming of age, the president was inaugurated in 1961, said the torch had been passed to the next generation. Why has President Biden not decided to pass the torch at this point, why does he still want to hold it?”
“When it comes to age, it’s the same thing that we heard in 2020,” Jean-Pierre replied. “We heard that over and over again in 2020. And if you look at what the president has done these past two years, he’s been able to deliver and get things done. Where Republicans in Congress, Republicans on the other side of Pennsylvania [Avenue], are trying to pull us back, not move us forward.”
In response, the press secretary cited the return of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. and the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed in 2021 as significant achievements. She criticized the Republicans, accusing them of being ineffective in achieving their goals. Additionally, she challenged the poll's findings that suggested the majority of Americans were against Biden's reelection bid, citing the absence of the expected "red wave" during the 2022 midterm elections.
According to the CBS News poll conducted from April 21 to 24, 54% of the surveyed voters expressed "acceptance" towards Biden's decision to run for a second term. Meanwhile, 28% of the respondents reported feeling "confident," and 27% expressed being "nervous" about the prospect of another term. The poll has a margin of error of 5.6%.
At present, Biden is the oldest presidential candidate and, if re-elected, would become the oldest president to hold public office in American history. This has led to concerns among Democrats about his ability to effectively lead given his advanced age. A Yahoo/YouGov poll conducted in March revealed that 68% of likely voters, including 48% of likely Democratic voters, believe that Biden is too old to serve a second term.
In July 2022, a New York Times/Siena poll discovered that 64% of Democratic voters do not want Biden to seek a second term as president. However, President Biden previously misinterpreted the poll results and informed reporters that they wanted him to run. He cited the portion of the poll that discussed a hypothetical rematch between him and former President Donald Trump, in which 92% of Democrats indicated that they would choose Biden over Trump.
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