Joe Biden, the oldest president in the history of the United States, said this Monday that he understands the criticism about his age, but that he is running for re-election because former President Donald Trump wanted to “destroy” democracy.
Biden, 80, generally avoids talking about his age but broached the topic during a fundraiser at a Broadway theater in New York, where he explained that his experience has helped him deal with crises like Ukraine or helped the Covid-19 crisis.
“A lot of people seem to focus on my age,” the president said. “I get it, believe me. “I know better than anyone.”
“I am running because democracy is at stake, because democracy will be back at the ballot box in 2024. And let there be no doubt: Donald Trump and his MAGA (Make America Great Again, Trump’s slogan, ed.) Republicans are determined to destroy America’s democracy,” he added.
The Democrat added that he would not “bow down” to “dictators,” something he accused Trump of doing in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Opinion polls show American voters are concerned about Biden’s age ahead of a likely rematch next year against Trump, whom he defeated in the 2020 election.
Influential American columnist David Ignatius of the Washington Post caused a stir last week when he urged the president not to run, saying Biden risked undermining “his greatest achievement”: defeating Trump.
Biden, who is attending the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week, would be 86 at the end of his second term, drawing criticism from his Republican opponents.
Trump, who is 77 and if elected would be the oldest president ever elected in the country’s history, said Biden is “not too old” but is “incompetent.”