It’s interesting to see CNN defending Biden’s age as the Democrat makes history by becoming the first octogenarian in the White House. Biden turned 80 over the weekend and still talks of running in 2024, where if he were to win, he would be 86 years old by the time his term would end.
The reason I say that it’s interesting is that this is the same crew who questioned Trump’s cognitive abilities based on his age, demanding that he receive test after test to prove his cognitive decline.
Lemon was a massive advocate for having Trump repeatedly tested, in which he was and found sound. Imagine my surprise when the demoted CNN host went on to say that the US doesn’t respect it’s elders, “I was going to say, not all 80-year-olds are created equal. I just had an 80th birthday party, surprise party, for my mom. It was like, you’re going to throw an 80-year-old a surprise birthday party? She’s totally fine. She’s younger than us. She’s up, it’s five. She’s up early in the morning, she texts us every morning: good morning, morning crew!”
Later her added, “What about the respect for elders thing that we talk about? Because we treat, I think, our elderly people not — we don’t support them and honor them as much as other countries. Is there, it’s a little bit difficult sometimes to talk about these issues, and to speak of a president that way.”
I don’t think that age automatically equates to cognitive decline, but it can be pretty obvious in some. I just think it’s interesting how fiercely CNN hacks, like Lemon, rush to defend Biden’s mental state while rushing to tear down the cognitive abilities of another based on their age.
Transcript provided by NewsBusters:
KAITLIN COLLINS: President Biden made history over the weekend, becoming the first octogenarian to occupy the Oval Office. He quietly celebrated with a private brunch with his family at the White House. As he turned an age that has he joked that he can hardly say.
JOE BIDEN: I can’t even say the age I’m going to be. I can’t even get it out of my mouth. I can’t. I swear to God. It’s like, no. Come on, that can’t be true.
COLLINS: The milestone 80th birthday has renewed attention on the president’s age, given Biden said recently he does plan to spend the next few months talking with his family about whether to follow through on his stated intention to seek a second term, at the end of which he would be 86. Biden himself has said it’s legitimate to ask about his age.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Is age a legitimate issue?
BIDEN: It is a legitimate issue. Sure it is. And I think people are going to judge it, if I were to going to run, I think they would judge me on my vitality. Can I still run up the steps of Air Force Two [the clip was from 2018, when Biden was VP], am I in good shape, do I have all my faculties, am I energetic? I think it’s totally legitimate for people to ask those questions.[From interview with Jonathan Capehart] I think it’s a legitimate thing to be concerned about anyone’s age, including mine. I think that’s totally legitimate.
COLLINS: So, it’s fair to ask, but Biden also has an answer ready to go for those who question whether or not he’s fit to serve, often reminding his critics about his schedule and his energy level.
REPORTER: What’s your message to them?
BIDEN: Watch me.
. . .
COLLINS: Questions about a president’s age are not new, as this moment with President Ronald Reagan on a debate stage in Kansas City in 1984 can tell you.
RONALD REAGAN: I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.
. . .
POPPY HARLOW: Let’s bring in Dr. Audrey Chun, she is a geriatric medicine specialist and a professor of geriatrics at Mt. Sinai Health System. Morning to you.
AUDREY CHUN: Good morning.
HARLOW: So he said, Biden says, as long as I can run up the stairs of Air Force One, judge me on what you see from me, not just a number. Is that right? I mean, how different can 80 be for folks?
CHUN: Yeah, I think that’s the biggest point, that 80 looks different for everyone. So, we always kind of joke that if you’ve met one 80-year-old, you’ve met one 80-year-old. There’s such variability in people’s function and cognition. So, you really can’t make assumptions based on age alone.
DON LEMON: I was going to say, not all 80-year-olds are created equal. I just had an 80th birthday party, surprise party, for my mom. It was like, you’re going to throw an 80-year-old a surprise birthday party? She’s totally fine. She’s younger than us. She’s up, it’s five. She’s up early in the morning, she texts us every morning: good morning, morning crew!
HARLOW: Every morning.
LEMON: And she’s really, really sharp. But not all 80-year-olds are so sharp.
CHUN: That’s exactly right. So, we live in a wonderful age right now to get older, because we are living longer and living better. So, so many people are living to 80 and having a great physical function and thinking clearly, but not everyone does. So there is, there really is variability. You’re at higher risk of developing some of these conditions as you get older, but not everyone gets them.
LEMON: What about the respect for elders thing that we talk about? Because we treat, I think, our elderly people not — we don’t support them and honor them as much as other countries. Is there, it’s a little bit difficult sometimes to talk about these issues, and to speak of a president that way.
CHUN: I’m so glad you brought that up. I think one of the biggest challenges we face is ageism, right? It’s kind of the ism against your future self. That we don’t have a culture in the United States that celebrates getting older.
You know, like, my family is from Korea, and there, sometimes people lie about their age to be a litle bit older, you know, to get a little extra respect, right? So all of that comes into play as to how valued you are in a society.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.