Jake Tapper on Tuesday questioned Karine Jean-Pierre about President Joe Biden’s age while discussing a poll that indicated most Americans are concerned about it. The CNN host added a personal touch to make his point. (Watch the video below.)
“Joe Biden’s been in politics literally since before you were born. And, like, he’s aged as we all do,” the CNN anchor told the White House press secretary. (Jean-Pierre was born in 1974, about two years after Biden was first elected to the senate.)
Tapper jump-started the grilling by citing an AP-NORC poll in which 77% of American adults said Biden, 80, is too old for a second term and just 51% said Trump, 77, is too old in their potential matchup for the 2024 presidential election.
“Is the White House worried that questions about President Biden’s stamina could ultimately impact whether or not voters will be able to support him for a second term?” Tapper asked.
Jean-Pierre declined to address the election, later citing Hatch Act restrictions on partisan activity by federal employees. “What this president brings to this administration is wisdom and experience,” she replied, noting his ability to advance historic legislation and overcome previous doubts about his age. Jean-Pierre added that he “has his finger on the pulse on what it is that the American people need.”
But Tapper was undeterred. He mentioned GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s comment that Biden would not finish a second term, leaving Vice President Kamala Harris as the next president.
Jean-Pierre said she wouldn’t directly address Haley’s remark due to the Hatch Act, but noted some of the president’s accomplishments, including his efforts to lower drug prices and marshal allies in support of Ukraine. “He knows how to get the work done,” she said.
“But I’m talking about his age and his stamina and his ability to do the job,” Tapper said. “And you’re talking about the record, and I understand why you’d rather talk about the record. But I’m talking about what Americans see when they turn on the TV.”
Jean-Pierre mentioned the president’s visit to war-torn Ukraine as an example of his vigor.
“I’m not saying he’s not able to walk,” Tapper said.
“No, but you’re talking about his strength, right?” she replied. “You’re talking about how he’s looking right now.”
“He’s 80,” Tapper said. “I think the average age of the American male only lives to be 77 or something.”
“It is hard for us to keep up with this president,” Jean-Pierre said.
Fast-forward to 3:29 for the segment about Biden’s age: