Biden Hits Back At Criticism of Age: ‘See If I Have The Energy’

2019-11-02 10:36:54

Former Vice President Joe Biden dismissed questions over his age following a New York Times report that called out his “uneven performances,” “gaffe-prone tendencies” and “verbal miscues.”

“They went out and found people who said that,” he told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in an interview that aired Friday. “I don’t doubt people said that… The overwhelming number of people haven’t worried about any miscue or not.”

The 76-year-old declared himself a “gaffe machine” in 2018 when mulling a presidential bid, and has lived up to the label in recent months with a string of campaign trail slip-ups, including apparently forgetting what state he’s in and jumbling historic timelines. 

In August, Biden jokingly told an audience in New Hampshire that he was “not going nuts” as the foot-in-mouth moments piled up.

Now, he’s telling the public to discern for itself whether he’s fit for office.

“This is for the voters to decide,” he told Woodruff. “Take a look. Look at me. See if I have the energy. See if I know what I’m talking about, and make their judgement. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.”

Though Biden is still leading the crowded pack of Democrats in most 2020 polls, his repeated fumbles, whether on the debate stage or elsewhere, haven’t gone unnoticed.

Last month, Biden raised eyebrows during a CNN town hall on LGBTQ issues where he spoke about “gay bathhouses” and “round-the-clock sex” when attempting highlight how conversations on homosexuality have evolved within the past 15 years.

When addressing America’s slaveholding past at the third Democratic presidential debate in September, which some candidates have considered rectifying with modern-day reparations, Biden talked about the importance of keeping “the record player on at night” to “make sure that kids hear words.”

During that debate, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro appeared to take a shot at Biden’s age as the two sparred over health care reform, asking whether he was “forgetting already what you said just two minutes ago.”

At least two other candidates ― South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar ― later commented that Castro’s remark was a low blow.

Still, Biden isn’t the oldest candidate in the race. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is 78.

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