Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that while she thinks President Biden’s age, which is a growing topic of concern among voters, is a “legitimate issue,” she advised him to “lean in” to his years of experience.
“I talked to people in the White House all the time, and you know, they know it’s an issue, but as I like to say, look, it’s a legitimate issue,” Clinton told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner in a sit-down interview earlier this week. “It’s a legitimate issue for [former President] Trump who’s only three years younger. So, it’s an issue.”
The former first lady continued, saying it could be difficult for both Biden and Trump to connect with certain voters, because of their age. Instead, she said the president should focus more on the wisdom he’s gained over the years.
“I think Biden also should lean into the fact that he’s experienced and that experience is not just in the political arena. It’s like, the stuff of, you know, human experience,” she said. “I think he should be willing to really pull that out … and I think he should care more about it.”
According to a recent NBC News poll, Biden’s age and health are serious issues of concern for voters. Seventy-six percent of respondents had major or moderate concerns when asked if Biden, 81, has the mental and physical acuity to be the country’s top leader.
Clinton noted that while Biden makes the occasional joke about his age, he should do it more.
At a press conference Thursday evening, Biden angrily defended himself after special counsel Robert Hur, who investigated his retention of classified documents at his Delaware home and former vice president’s office, released his report, which painted the president as a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
Biden insisted that his memory was fine and that he knows “what the hell I’m doing,” although later in the press conference he mistakenly referred to the president of Egypt as the “president of Mexico.”
Clinton argued that while Biden’s age is an issue, voters should consider “what’s at stake in the election,” as he prepares for a potential rematch against Trump, the likely GOP nominee.
“I’m for Joe Biden for reelection on the merits because I think he’s done a really good job as president,” Clinton said. “So, I think he should continue to get out and campaign.”