Premieres Tonight at 8pm ET
The decade's most triggering comedy
Warning against people his own age, a former top intelligence official said the United States needs a younger president sitting in the White House.
Dan Coats, who served as director of national intelligence during the Trump administration, is quoted in a new report from NBC News focused on concerns people have about President Joe Biden’s advanced age as he seeks re-election in 2024.
“As someone who just turned 80, I strongly believe that we need someone younger, whether it’s on the Democratic side or the Republican side,” Coats said.
Biden, who served in the Senate alongside Coats in the past, is also 80 years old. Already the oldest person to be president, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term.
The president’s tendency to lose his train of thought while speaking and moments caught on camera where he has tripped or fallen over have spurred concerns about his ability to lead effectively.
A recent survey showed a growing number of voters are increasingly anxious about Biden’s and fitness to serve.
Meanwhile former President Donald Trump is campaigning at the age of 77 to win back the Oval Office.
So far, both Trump and Biden generally lead polls by wide margins in their respective party’s nomination contests, facing younger competitors eager to take up the mantle as president.
“The weight of the world falls on the shoulders of the president, and right now, we have two disabled presidents,” Coats said, which the report noted was in reference to Trump and Biden.
“Age plays a major factor in this, and people have to think about what the next generation will provide,” he added.
The story by NBC News contained assurances by people in Biden’s orbit that the incumbent remains steady. It also featured some anecdotes by people in his administration extolling the president’s apparent levels of energy when the cameras aren’t trained on him.
This follows an interview House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave to MSNBC in which she brushed off apprehension about Biden’s age. Pelosi, who is 83, said Biden is “just a kid” to her and argued that he should “embrace” his age and experience.
Still, the NBC News report additionally noted signs of an elder statesman becoming increasingly careful, such as using a shorter set of stairs to board aircraft as well as using extra-large font on teleprompters, as time goes on.
One congressional Democrat, who was granted anonymity, told the news outlet that the Democratic Party needs to “be responsive” to people concerned about Biden’s age.
“The number of text messages that I got after the president fell … I mean, my phone was blowing up. People are like, ‘Oh, this is so bad,'” the Democrat also said.