GOSSIP & RUMORS: Rachel Maddow defends Joe Biden over age concerns: ‘He rides a bike’
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow suggested that President Biden isn’t too old for the presidency, citing as evidence the fact that “he rides a bike.”
During an MSNBC segment Thursday, hosts accused Biden’s critics of “ageism” after the 81-year-old commander-in-chief confused two foreign leaders, referring to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi as “the president of Mexico.”
Co-host Chris Hayes added: “If someone says, ‘You’re too far left,’ you can tack to the center, but there’s nothing you can do if someone says you’re too old.”
Biden — who has served in Washington for half a century — has tried to let the American public know he is aware of their concerns about him remaining in the Oval Office, often by joking about his advanced age.
Meanwhile, the president has also stumbled several times bounding up the steps of the presidential aircraft, and his team has employed a physical therapist to help improve his balance and avoid a potentially disastrous fall.
In addition, he’s made several public mix-ups of late, including when he told Democratic donors that he had spoken with the late former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot — four years after the European politician’s death.
And earlier this week, Biden confused sitting French President Emmanuel Macron with former leader Francois Mitterand, who died nearly 30 years ago.
In the wake of Biden’s latest gaffe on Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters: “Look, as it relates to the names and what he was trying to say, look, many people, elected officials, many people — you know, they can misspeak sometimes, right?”
Jean-Pierre gave several examples of other government leaders mixing up names when referring to something else, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) saying Iran instead of Israel on Sunday.
“It happens to all of us and it is common.”
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 52, was also criticized by ex-CNN anchor Don Lemon for being “past her prime.”
During an episode of the daytime talk show “The View,” host Sunny Hostin pointed to Haley’s campaign tactics, including when she said in New Hampshire last month: “My parents are up in age, and I love them. But when you see them hit a certain age, there is a decline. That’s a fact.”
“She’s an ageist, yet she was offended when someone talked about her age. Hypocrite!” Hostin said, referring to when “she went off because Don Lemon said that she was older, that she was past her prime.”