Some senior citizens in Biden home town of Scranton say president is too old for another term

May 23, 2023
Ben Marquis

President Joe Biden, who would be 86 upon leaving office if elected to a second term in the White House, is widely viewed by a majority of the American people as being both too old and too diminished in terms of his physical and mental health to continue serving as president.

That view is reportedly shared by at least some of Biden's fellow senior citizens in his oft-mentioned hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to the Western Journal.

Notably, that includes some seniors who voted for the current president in the prior election but now feel as though somebody younger -- albeit not named Kamala Harris -- ought to be the one in charge of leading the United States.

Some seniors in Scranton not supportive of Biden second term

Media outlet The Messenger recently went to the predominately Democratic town of Scranton and specifically sought out senior citizens to ask for their thoughts on the continued presidential ambitions of the individual who is arguably the area's most famous former resident, President Biden.

The outlet spoke with several seniors playing bingo at a local senior center, including Ike Mielo, 82, who voted for Biden in 2020 but has no plans to do so again in 2024, and said, "You start to lose your mind after a certain age. I see myself, you know. I think we need a younger guy."

Another senior who previously voted for Biden but is unlikely to do so again is Barbara Petroski, 86, who said of the president, "He's making a good front and everything, but I just don't think he has the capabilities anymore. And four more years? I just don't think he's going to have the brain power."

She noted that she'd prefer to vote for former Vice President Mike Pence but would consider supporting Biden again if matched up once more versus former President Donald Trump, who at 76 is also too old in her view, and added, "There comes a time when you have to step down. And it's hard to concede to that too, you know."

They were joined by retired Republican Frank Miller, who is in his 60s and expressed concern not so much for Biden's age but who his immediate successor would be, Vice President Kamala Harris. Pointing to a local newspaper while eating at a diner, Miller said, "I don't want to pick this up in the morning and see that President Biden has passed away overnight and now Kamala Harris is our president."

In reference to the increasing evidence of Biden's diminished state, he added, "I don't blame Mr Biden at all for it. It's just nature. … I really do think that another term would not be in his best interest. If it was my dad, I wouldn’t want him to do it."

Emerging trend suggests Biden draws best support from seniors

To be sure, The Messenger found plenty of senior citizens in Scranton who downplayed President Biden's advanced age and expressed their continued support for him, which would seem to align somewhat with a burgeoning trend in polling that Politico reported on in April.

Though not always the case in every poll, the outlet noted that the cohort of voters aged 65+ seemed to be the one portion of the electorate that consistently gave Biden the highest level of approval and support -- a stark change from the past two decades when Republicans seemed to have a lock on that particular segment of the voting population.

That could bode well for Biden's re-election bid, and there is some evidence to suggest that his campaign will attempt to exploit the perceived boost in support for the president from his fellow seniors.

But poll shows even a majority of seniors say Biden is "too old"

However, an early May poll from ABC News/The Washington Post found that, overall, 68 percent thought President Biden was too old for a second term while only around a third of Americans thought he had the mental sharpness and physical fitness to continue serving as president.

Among senior citizens, that included 62 percent who said he was "too old" and, predictably, even higher numbers who thought the same among younger blocs of voters.

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