“His age is an issue, and people have every right to consider it,” Clinton said during an event in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
Already the oldest person to be president at 80, Biden would be 86 at the end of a second term. He announced in April that he is seeking re-election.
Biden’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 fitness to serve.
Financial Times editor Edward Luce, who was interviewing 75-year-old Clinton, brought up one “heart-stopping” example when Biden stumbled down a set of stairs at the G7 Summit in Japan.
“It’s a concern for anyone,” Clinton replied. “We’ve had presidents who had fallen before who were a lot younger, and people didn’t go into heart palpitations.”
While some of Biden’s allies have defended him from age anxiety, Biden said last month that his age does not “register” with him. “I respect them taking a hard look at it — I’d take a hard look at it, as well. I took a hard look at it before I decided to run, and I feel good. I feel excited about the prospects,” Biden added.
Biden’s age has become an attack line among candidates who seek to challenge him in the 2024 contest. GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy called Biden’s re-election campaign a case of “elder abuse.”
Jason Miller, an adviser to former President Donald Trump, reacted to Clinton’s comments with a quip. “Sounds like Crooked is warming up in the bullpen!” he tweeted, alluding to one of Trump’s mocking nicknames for Clinton.
Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, whose past jobs include secretary of state and U.S. senator, lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Over the past couple years, Clinton rejected the idea of another run for president, but has done so while noting that she expected Biden to seek re-election.
During her conversation with Luce, Clinton said she thinks Biden is “determined” to run, and insisted that he has a “good record” for which he does not get enough credit.
“He doesn’t get the credit yet that he deserves for what is happening out in the country in terms of jobs and growth and planning for the future with CHIPS and other stuff,” Clinton said. “So, I obviously hope he stays very focused and able to compete in the election because I think he can be re-elected, and that’s what we should all hope for.”