During an appearance on CNN Monday night, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was pressed about President Joe Biden’s health. She had no interest in addressing it.
The question came from CNN host Don Lemon, who has historically been very friendly to the Biden administration.
“Does the president have the stamina, physically and mentally do you think, to continue on even after 2024?” Lemon said.
Jean-Pierre began to laugh in apparent disbelief and responded to Lemon in an exasperated tone.
“Don, you’re asking me this question?” she said. “Oh my gosh. He’s the president of the United States. You know, he, I can’t even keep up with him.
“We just got back from New Mexico; we just got back from California. That is … that is not a question that we should be even asking.”
WH’s @k_jeanpierre takes offense at CNN’s Don Lemon asking if Biden “has the stamina, physically and mentally” to run in 2024:
“Don, you’re asking me this question! Oh my gosh! He’s the president of the United States!” pic.twitter.com/Y1sRyXg0TF
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 14, 2022
Whether Jean-Pierre believes the question is merited or not, the fact is many people are asking it. According to a June 11 report from The New York Times, even many Democrats have their doubts.
Is Biden’s health a concern for the future?
Yes: 93% (13 Votes)
No: 7% (1 Votes)
“To say our country was on the right track would flagrantly depart from reality,” Democratic National Committee member Steve Simeonidis said. “[Biden] should announce his intent not to seek re-election in ’24 right after the midterms.”
Former Barack Obama chief strategist David Axelrod said he doesn’t think the concerns about Biden’s age are fair, but even he acknowledged they are present for many Americans, which could hurt Biden’s chances at re-election.
“The presidency is a monstrously taxing job, and the stark reality is the president would be closer to 90 than 80 at the end of a second term, and that would be a major issue,” Axelrod said.
“Biden doesn’t get the credit he deserves for steering the country through the worst of the pandemic, passing historic legislation, pulling the NATO alliance together against Russian aggression and restoring decency and decorum to the White House. And part of the reason he doesn’t is performative. He looks his age and isn’t as agile in front of a camera as he once was, and this has fed a narrative about competence that isn’t rooted in reality.”
Jean-Pierre went on to talk about Biden’s actions, and she said they are an indication that age is not a problem for him. She also attacked the above article from the Times.
“Just look at the work that he does,” Jean-Pierre said. “Look how he’s delivering for the American public. Look, that article that we’re talking about, it’s hearsay. It’s salacious. That’s not what we care about.”
This explanation did not cut it for many Americans, including Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s press secretary Abigail Marone.
“We are all looking at the ‘work’ he does and that’s why even Don Lemon is asking this question…” Marone wrote on Twitter.
We are all looking at the “work” he does and that’s why even Don Lemon is asking this question… https://t.co/phSwtR5A56
— Abigail Marone ?? (@abigailmarone) June 14, 2022
So far, Jean-Pierre is sticking with the strategy of brushing off any questions about Biden’s age and health. It remains to be seen whether that will benefit the administration in the long run.
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