President Joe Biden formally launched last month his campaign to be re-elected in 2024, even as polls consistently show that a majority of Americans believe that he is too old to continue serving as the nation's leader.
Biden actually addressed that particular issue during a speech on Wednesday and acknowledged that it was a "totally legitimate" concern, according to The Hill.
The 80-year-old president also seemed to imply that his recognition of his own advanced age nearly caused him to not seek a second term in the White House, given that he would be 86 by the time he left office if he were to succeed in winning the 2024 election.
President Biden delivered remarks Wednesday evening during a campaign reception event at a private residence in New York and almost immediately seemed to joke about his age by asserting that "I’ve been around for a lot of administrations."
A few moments later he said, "You know, when I decided -- and it wasn’t an automatic decision about running again, not because I didn’t think there was more to do but because I thought to myself, you know, four more years, I mean, six more years is -- is a long time."
"It’s a legitimate thing to raise the question of age. And I think it’s totally legitimate," Biden acknowledged.
He then went right back to cracking jokes about his age as he referenced a recent conversation he'd had with former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-DE), who had been one of his Senate staffers for more than two decades and actually filled out the remainder of Biden's term as a senator from 2009-2010 when he left to serve as vice president in the Obama administration.
"'Joe, you were the second-youngest man in history ever to start the United States Senate about a century ago, not quite,'" Biden recalled Kaufman saying. "'And you’re going to be the oldest President in American history right now.'"
The president again referenced his age and the things he's learned over the decades as he added, "And I hope what I’ve been able to bring to this job and will continue to bring is a little bit of wisdom -- a little bit of wisdom."
President Biden's remarks about his advanced age come as multiple polls over the past few months have consistently shown that a majority of Americans, including a substantial portion of his own fellow Democrats, believe that Biden is now too old to effectively serve as president.
Just last week, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 68 percent said that Biden was too old to serve a second term in office, which included 48 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents, and 79 percent of Republicans.
That poll also found that only around one-third of Americans thought Biden had the "mental sharpness" and "good enough physical health" to be an effective leader.
Similarly, a CBS News/YouGov poll in late April of just Democratic voters found that 45 percent said that Biden should not seek a second term as president, and of those, 86 percent said "his age" was the main reason why they didn't want him to run in 2024.
Finally, a Yahoo News/YouGov poll in late February found that 68 percent of Americans thought Biden was "too old for another term," which included 48 percent of Democrats. Furthermore, that survey also found that around 40 percent of Democrats were either "somewhat" or "very" concerned "about Joe Biden’s health and mental acuity," joining 60 percent of all Americans in that regard at that time.