WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden addressed his fitness for office as he embarks on a re-election campaign as the oldest serving president, in an interview with Stephanie Ruhle, host of «The 11th Hour on MSNBC.»
“I have acquired a lot of wisdom and I know more than the vast majority of people,” said the president. “I have more experience than anyone who has run for office. And I think I’ve proven myself honorable and effective,” said Biden, who will turn 82 shortly after Election Day in 2024 and would leave office at 86 if re-elected, has in the past dismissed concerns about his age. , responding, “Look at me,” or asking the public to compare it to a Republican alternative.
Still, polls show Biden’s age remains a vulnerability among voters, with a majority being Americans. narration NBC News that they don’t want him to run for office again.
The president suggested bad press was to blame for polls showing him underwater with the public.
“All they have heard is negative news. It’s all negative,» Biden said. «That’s number one.»
But the president indicated he was hopeful this could change as his administration increases spending on legislation passed during his first two years in office.
“A lot of what we were able to do, it’s only going to come into play now,” Biden said. “It is one thing to say that we are going to rebuild this bridge that is in the process of collapsing. It’s another thing to get it built yet. And all of that has just begun.»
Separately, Biden said he is prepared to negotiate with Republicans on the nation’s budget, but not the debt ceiling, which could hit as soon as June 1 and trigger a default and possibly catastrophic economic reactions.
«I think we have to make it clear to the American people that I am prepared to negotiate in detail with their budget. How much are you going to spend? How much are you going to tax? Where can we cut?» Biden said.
Biden said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is being pushed by extreme factions in his caucus.
«He’s an honest man,» Biden said of McCarthy. «The MAGA Republicans have really put him in a position where, in order to remain president, he has to agree: he’s accepted things that maybe he believes in, but they’re just extreme.»