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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre laughed at a question about President Joe Biden’s physical and mental wellbeing during an interview on Monday.
In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Jean-Pierre reacted with surprise, telling the host that a question about Biden’s physical and mental abilities should not even be asked.
“Do you think the president has the stamina, physically and mentally, to continue even after 2024?” asked Citroen.
“Don, you’re asking me this question,” exclaimed a visibly bewildered Jean-Pierre. ‘Oh my God. He’s the president of the United States.”
DEMOCRATS WAKE UP TO BIDE’S AGE PROBLEM, STRATEGIS SAY
DON LEMON: “Do you think the president has the stamina, physically and mentally, to continue beyond 2024?”
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: “That’s a question we shouldn’t even be asking” pic.twitter.com/dUfQil9qKp
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 14, 2022
The press secretary then laughed and told Lemon that she, 47, sometimes struggles to keep up with Biden, 79.
“That’s not a question we should even be asking,” she added. “Just look at the work he does. And watch him do it for the American public.”
Jean-Pierre then brushed aside criticism of a New York Times report that surfaced earlier this week questioning the president’s mental capabilities as “hearsay” and “not what interests us.”
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The article quoted several prominent Democrats questioning whether Biden was the best choice to lead the party into the 2024 election.
Jean-Pierre added: “We care about how we’re going to deliver to the American people. How we’re going to improve their lives. That’s what the president is talking about. That’s his focus and that’s what we’ll continue to focus on.”
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Biden became the oldest person ever elected to serve in the White House in November 2020, and could break the record if he decides to seek reelection in 2024.
Concerns over Biden’s age and ability to lead the Democratic Party come amid a gaffe-filled administration, where the president would make a seemingly new policy announcement, only for members of his staff to reverse the remark.
In recent months, Biden expressed a degree of readiness for war, both with Russia and China, before government officials said the country would not change its international strategies.
In May, Biden said he would send troops to Taiwan and defend it against possible Chinese aggression in order to fulfill “the commitment we have made.” The White House later said it had made no such commitment and that the US would maintain “strategic ambiguity” regarding Taiwan.
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That same month, Biden also said Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power”.
The comment immediately sparked backlash as it appeared Biden was explicitly calling for Putin’s removal, but White House staff later clarified that the president was not calling for regime change.
In April, Biden struggled noticeably perusing a teleprompter-led speech about Russian oligarchs and new sanctions the US would issue.
“We’re going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes, and all their ill-gotten gains from Putin’s kleptocracy—yes, kleptocracy—valve—the guys who are the kleptocracies. Ha. Ha. Ha,” Biden said.
In March, Biden told US military personnel in Poland that they would be sent to fight in Ukraine.
“You’ll see when you get there,” he told the troops, making it clear again to the White House that the government would not send troops to fight in the war between Ukraine and Russia.
These concerns about Biden’s health have also extended to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 82, and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, 71, Axios reported.
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On the Republican side of the aisle of the US gerontocracy, former President Donald Trump — a frontrunner for the GOP in 2024 — will be 78, while Senate Leader Mitch McConnell is 80.
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, another hopeful president, is only 43.