Biden says his age a 'legitimate' concern for US voters

President, who turns 80 next month, says voters should look at his 'passion' for the job

US President Joe Biden has not formally announced his intention to run for re-election. AP
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US President Joe Biden called his age a “legitimate” concern for voters in the 2024 presidential election, though he said he would still be physically and mentally capable of carrying out his duties if elected to a second term.

Mr Biden has yet to formally announce if he will seek re-election, but he has repeatedly said it is his intention to run again. He turns 80 next month.

“I think it’s a legitimate thing to be concerned about anyone’s age, including mine,” the president said in an interview with MSNBC that aired on Sunday.

“And I think the best way to make the judgment is to watch me. Am I slowing up? Do I have the same pace?”

Mr Biden said voters should look at his “passion” for the job as they consider his age.

“I'm a great respecter of fate. I could get a disease tomorrow. I could, you know, drop dead- … in terms of my energy level, in terms of how much I'm able to do, I think people should look and say, can he still have the same passion for what he's doing?” Mr Biden said.

“And if they think I do and I can do it, then that's fine. If they don't, then they should vote against me — not against me, they should encourage me not to go. But that's not how I feel.”

He also joked about coming to terms with becoming an octogenarian.

“I can’t even say the age I am going to be. I can’t even get it out of my mouth,” Mr Biden said.

A New York Times/Siena College poll conducted in July found that 26 per cent of voters believe Democrats should nominate Mr Biden as the party's president for 2024, with the majority of those in opposition citing his age.

Mr Biden would be 82 years old on inauguration day in 2025 if he does secure a second term as president.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: October 24, 2022, 3:27 PM