Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned heads on Wednesday with a remark she made about President Joe Biden’s age, which has become a much bigger issue as the 2024 election nears and Biden appears to be slipping in terms of mental and physical capacity.
During a segment on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, 83-year-old Pelosi spoke in defense of the president, praising his time in office and asserting that the country has been “very well-served” during his tenure. Pelosi also emphasized that age should not be a concern regarding Biden, who is 80, by stating that it’s a “relative” factor.
“I think the president should embrace his age, his experience, the knowledge he brings to the job,” Pelosi said. “Actually, the leader on the other side is not much younger. I don’t like to use his name, but you know who I mean. He’s not that much younger,” she continued in a reference to former President Donald Trump.
“So I don’t think – age is a relative thing. It is – and I think this president, our country is very well served by his leadership, again, his experience, his knowledge, and it counts for a lot,” Pelosi claimed.
Pelosi pointed to her recent encounters with screenwriter Norman Lear, who is 100 years old, and architect Frank Gehry, who is 94, as evidence supporting her argument that Biden’s age should not be a relevant issue in the campaign.
“[Lear] was telling me some new shows he was involved in, I had a meeting with Frank Gehry, a 90- something architect, showing me new buildings he’s building throughout the world and they were like ‘80, he’s a kid,” Pelosi said, referencing Biden’s age. “I was like yeah. It is relative. He’s younger than I am, so he’s a kid to me as well.”
Despite Pelosi’s far-fetched dismissal, a majority of voters in a growing number of surveys who have seen the president in public trip, fall, mumble, and say incoherent things are very concerned about his age and cognitive decline.
In June, a national survey conducted for NBC News found that more than two-thirds of registered voters, or 68 percent, said they have moderate to major concerns about Biden “not having the necessary mental and physical health” to be president, a staggering 17-point increase from when voters were asked the same question in October 2020.
“The new poll shows 32% of voters said they have little to no real concerns, which is a drop from the 48% of voters who responded similarly in October 2020, roughly a month before the November presidential election that year,” the Daily Wire reported, citing the survey.
The same survey found a lower percentage of voters — but still a majority at 55 percent — felt the same about Trump, who just turned 77.
A survey published the previous month revealed similar findings and sentiments about Biden.
According to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, a majority of Americans, by a 62 percent-to-36 percent margin, think Biden does not have the mental capacity to continue serving as president beyond his first term.
“Biden did, however, actually see a slight increase in his approval rating to 45%, up 4 points from last month. That indicates there will likely be a significant number of people who believe there are serious concerns about Biden’s mental fitness but will vote for him anyway,” NPR reported.
Trump, who is the current 2024 GOP frontrunner, did better, with 52 percent saying it was a concern compared to 43 percent who said it isn’t.
Earlier in May, Biden appeared to require assistance leaving a stage after delivering a speech and ending hit with a strange statement.
Biden’s speech at the National Safety Communities Summit in Connecticut was on gun control, a favored policy among Democrats and certainly his administration. Before he left the stage, the president thanked the attendees for coming and said, “God save the queen, man.”
“But the scene became even more bizarre immediately following the gaffe. Biden seemed unaware of where he should exit, pointing at the people off-stage and asking them where he should go,” the Western Journal reported. “Eventually, an aide came up and helped him off, and Biden awkwardly jogged across the stage to make an exit.”