FLASHBACK: Biden Says Americans Should Judge His 'Vitality' In 2018 Interview

As Biden's age continues to dominate the 2024 conversation, Democrats have attempted to shift focus from the 81-year-old to a plethora of other topics that they deem to be to Biden's advantage, like abortion, voting rights, and infighting among congressional Republicans. That strategy, however, is increasingly failing as Biden's health becomes a legitimate issue for millions of Americans who view him as too old for a second term.

President Biden's age has long plagued his presidency with repeated memory lapses and gaffes in speeches. Still, the dam broke on Thursday evening after the president held a surprise press conference in response to the release of special counsel Robert Hur's report on his mishandling of classified documents. Biden made multiple blunders during the remarks as he attempted to defend his failing memory and argue that his age is more of an asset than an ailment. 

Biden can't escape his past comments about his age, however. In an interview in 2018, Biden said that age is a "legitimate issue" that all Americans should consider when selecting a president. "I think people are going to judge me on my vitality. Can I still run up the steps of Air Force Two? Am I still in good shape? Do I have all my faculties? Am I energetic?" Biden said at the time. "I think it's totally legitimate."

Biden was elected in 2020 with the hopes that he would be a one-term president who would step aside for another Democrat to take his place. Instead, Biden has insisted that he stay in office despite the noticeable decline in his mental sharpness. His unwillingness to accept reality could cost Democrats the White House in November, given that a recent poll from ABC News/Ipsos spells disaster for the Biden campaign. 

The poll taken just after Biden's remarks, from February 9-10, shows that 86 percent of Americans believe Biden is too old to serve another term in the White House. Amongst that percentage, 59 percent also said that 45th President Donald Trump, who is 77 years old, is too old to serve another four years in the White House.

When broken down by party, 73 percent of Democrats and 91 percent of independents said Biden was too old to serve. For Trump, only 35 percent of Republicans said he was too old. Among independents, a key voting bloc Trump needs to win in November, 71 percent said he was too old to be president again.

The American people should judge Biden's "vitality" in the upcoming presidential election. His mental deterioration is apparent to any objective observer even when compared to his time as vice president during the Obama administration. Voters will decide in November whether or not Biden is too old to be in office, but if current polling holds, the answer will be a resounding no.

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