‘We’re not going to change the minds of Americans,’ says White House press secretary when asked about the president’s poor approval ratings in national polls.
WASHINGTON–President Joe Biden is celebrating his 81st birthday on Monday as worries continue to grow about his age. The president spent his birthday pardoning two turkeys called Liberty and Bell, carrying out an annual Thanksgiving tradition at the White House.
“And by the way, it’s my birthday today,” President Biden announced during the turkey pardoning ceremony on the South Lawn. “I just want you to know it’s difficult turning 60,” he joked.
He is the oldest president in American history, and if he is reelected, he will begin his second term at the age of 82.
According to the White House, the President will spend his birthday with his family in Nantucket later this week, and will have coconut cake, as is customary.
While President Biden is optimistic about his reelection chances, numerous polls have shown that his age is a concern for the majority of Americans.
“Our perspective is that it’s not about age; it’s about the president’s experience,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a press briefing on Monday in response to questions about her boss’s age.
When pressed about the president’s dismal approval ratings, she stated, “We’re not going to change the minds of Americans. I get that, Americans are going to feel how they feel. And we’re going to respect that.”
According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 74 percent of Americans said the president was too old to run for another term. If the 2024 presidential election were held now, the same poll showed that former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, would win by a margin of 52–42 percent among registered voters.
And more than 3 in 5 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would prefer a nominee other than President Biden.
Another poll by NBC News released in September found that nearly 74 percent of respondents were concerned about the president’s mental and physical health and that he was not fit for a second term—a 6-point jump in just three months.
In addition, independent voters gave President Biden a dismal 36 percent approval rating.
By Emel Akan