Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is reportedly telling supporters and advisers he would be a one-term president if elected to the White House next fall, according to a new Politico report.
Biden, 77, would be 82-years-old at the time of re-election in 2024 making the former vice president the first president elected in his 80s if successful.
Several advisers told Politico that it was “virtually inconceivable” Biden would seek re-election after a first term, and Biden himself has been pursuing a strategy of quietly indicating he would decline to run for re-election.
Biden advisers said they fear a public pledge would damage Biden’s political capital and make him a lame-duck president. One advisor, however, argued the pledge could also be a boon to younger voters worried about another eight years of generational stasis.
Doubts about Biden’s age have dogged the Democratic frontrunner throughout the campaign as the candidate has made a series of slip-ups raising questions about Biden’s sharpness and ability to take on President Donald Trump next fall, let alone command the Oval Office.
Several other candidates in the race are also well into their 70s. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is the oldest major candidate at 78-years-old, followed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 77 who is a few months older than Biden. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is 70.
No other candidate has brought on the skepticism of age quite like Biden, whose series of campaign gaffes have repeatedly shown his age on the trail and raised concerns about his fitness for office.
From forgetting California Senator Kamala Harris on the debate stage last month, to mixing up states several times, to recommending families gather around their “record player” at the Democratic debate in September, Biden’s age has become an issue in the race.
One advisor speaking to Politico defended Biden, saying he would be a good transition figure, needed to stop Trump from getting a second term while allowing for the following election to be one for the next generation of Democrats.
“I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I’m willing to do it,” the advisor told Politico.
Biden denied Politico’s reporting, and said he had no plans to be a one-term president.
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) December 11, 2019