Nancy Pelosi says Biden’s age is an ‘advantage’ as Mitt Romney calls for elder leaders to ‘step aside’

Ms Pelosi, 83, said she will seek re-election in 2024

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 14 September 2023 19:47

Related video: Biden comments on ‘friend’ Mitch McConnell’s health

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said she does not consider Joe Biden's age a "disadvantage" when she was asked about concerns raised by Mitt Romney and political commentators that the age of US leadership is growing increasingly older.

Ms Pelosi appeared on MSNBC, where host Mika Brzezinski asked her to have a "serious conversation" about the age of America's leaders in the wake of Senator Mitt Romney's announcement that he would not seek re-election.

He urged both party front-runners to step aside and make room for the “next generation.”

“I think it would be a great thing if President Biden and former President Trump were to stand aside and let their respective parties pick someone in the next generation,” he said. “President Biden, when he was running, said he was a transitional figure to the next generation. Well, time to transition.”

Ms Brzezinski specifically pointed to Joe Biden, who is already America's oldest president, and who will be 81 years old — nearly 82 — by the 2024 presidential election.

"Age is a relative thing as we all know...I think Joe Biden brings such wisdom, judgment, experience to the job of presidency and he is a great president and will continue to be a great president," Ms Pelosi said. "But again it’s a relative thing, I can't make judgments — health is a factor as well."

She said that Mr Biden's age and experience were a positive for the country.

"His experience is an advantage to us, and not to be described as a disadvantage," she said.

Ms Pelosi, 83, has been the subject of similar concerns by Democratic voters, particularly younger, more progressive voters.

She dismissed the concerns, saying that Senator Bernie Sanders, a favourite among progressives, was 82.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi says she thinks Joe Biden’s age is an ‘advantage’ to the Democratic Party

Ms Pelosi recently announced she would run for re-election, despite predictions that this would be her final term in Congress. The move comes at a time when Republicans control a narrow majority in the House. Democrats will seek to maintain the White House and retake majority control in 2024.

Age has increasingly become an issue of concern and conversation in political spheres; both party frontrunners for the presidency — Mr Biden and Donald Trump — are older Americans, with the latter running again at age 77.

When Mr Trump was asked if Mr Biden was too old to be president, he said he was not, insisting he knew people even older than Mr Biden who were still sharp.

However, other incidents have kept the age question relevant.

Senator Mitch McConnell, 81, has twice frozen — once mid-sentence — during press appearances, and numerous stories have been published suggesting 90-year-old Senator Diane Feinstein's office staff are basically legislating for her due to her advanced age.

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