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 joking repeatedly about his superior age, even because the White House strongly defended his stamina and batted away polling — and one outstanding Democrat — suggesting that the difficulty may value him votes in subsequent yr’s election.
White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated the president’s age shouldn’t be a main focus.
“Our perspective is, it’s not about age, it’s concerning the president’s expertise,” she stated whereas highlighting that Biden had efficiently championed by Congress a number of main items of laws — together with a sweeping public works bundle and initiative on public well being and combating local weather change — and visited lively warfare zones not managed by the U.S. army in Ukraine and Israel.
“What we are saying is we now have to evaluate him by what he’s carried out, not by his numbers,” Jean-Pierre stated. “I’d put the president’s stamina, the president’s knowledge, potential to get this carried out on behalf of the American individuals, in opposition to anybody. Anybody, any day of the week.”
Biden, for his half, went for humor.
“By the best way, it’s my birthday right now,” Biden instructed a crowd on the White Home South Garden as he pardoned Thanksgiving turkeys Liberty and Bell.
“I simply need you to know, it’s tough turning 60,” the president added with a chuckle. “Tough.”
Noting that the pre-Thanksgiving pardoning ceremony dated again 76 years, Biden additionally stated, “I need you to know I wasn’t there — for the primary one.”
The oldest president in U.S. historical past, Biden for months has used humor to attempt to defuse the difficulty — at the same time as polls counsel it is no laughing matter. An August ballot from The Related Press-NORC Middle for Public Affairs Analysis discovered that 77% of U.S. adults, together with 69% of Democrats, seen Biden as too previous to be efficient for 4 extra years.
As he seeks a second time period, Biden might be headed for a rematch with former President Donald Trump, who’s 77 and was the oldest individual elected to a primary time period till Biden was. Trump has himself made some current, notable gaffes. But the identical AP-NROC ballot discovered that 51% of adults — and simply 28% of Republicans — stated Trump was too previous for a second time period.
To coincide with Biden’s birthday, Trump launched a brand new letter from his doctor reporting that the previous president’s “general well being is great.”
“His bodily exams have been properly throughout the regular vary and his cognitive exams have been distinctive,” wrote New Jersey Dr. Bruce A. Aronwald, who stated he has been Trump’s physician since 2001 and most lately examined him on Sept. 13.
Aronwald added that Trump’s most up-to-date lab outcomes have been “much more favorable than prior testing on a few of the most important parameters,” citing current weight reduction that he credited to “improved weight loss plan and continued each day bodily train, whereas sustaining a rigorous schedule.”
The letter does not point out Trump’s weight, blood strain, or different check outcomes but nonetheless asserts that he “will proceed to take pleasure in a wholesome lively life-style for years to return.”
Trump is not the one one highlighting the difficulty.
David Axelrod, who helped Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008 and later served as a prime White Home adviser in an administration that included Biden as vice chairman, was particularly frank lately in feedback to The New York Occasions.
“I feel he has a 50-50 shot right here, however no higher than that, possibly a bit worse,” Axelrod instructed columnist Maureen Dowd of Biden’s 2024 probabilities. “He thinks he can cheat nature right here and it’s actually dangerous. They’ve received an actual drawback in the event that they’re relying on Trump to win it for them. I keep in mind Hillary doing that, too.”
That was a reference to Hillary Clinton, who misplaced her 2016 race with Trump.
Jean-Pierre stated Monday that the Bidens would spend the president’s birthday as they historically have, with a household gathering for Thanksgiving on Nantucket, and that they deliberate to have coconut cake, one other custom.
However she additionally tried to bat away Axelrod’s remark whereas saying of adverse polling about 2024, “There is not any alarm taking place behind the scenes.”
“I am not going to touch upon everybody that has a remark,” she stated, including, “It isn’t my job to inform individuals what to suppose.”
Biden introduced his reelection marketing campaign in April and stated then that his age “doesn’t register with me.”
“They’re going to see a race, and so they’re going to evaluate whether or not or not I’ve it or don’t have it,” the president stated of voters. “I respect them taking a tough take a look at it. I’d take a tough take a look at it as properly. I took a tough take a look at it earlier than I made a decision to run.”
Jean-Pierre reiterated that voters will make up their very own minds, saying, “We’re not going to alter the minds of Individuals. Individuals are going to really feel how they really feel, and we respect that.”

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