OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former First Lady Hillary Clinton, who has twice run for president as a Democrat and come up short, has sparked new talk of a potential 2024 run over remarks she made about President Joe Biden’s age.
Clinton’s off-the-radar remarks came during a chatfest at the Financial Times Weekend Festival in Washington, D.C., when she was asked about Biden’s near-fall down some steps at the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, last week.
“There was that heart-stopping moment when he almost fell over coming down the stairs a day or two ago,” Financial Times editor Edward Luce noted. “He didn’t use a railing, and Jill wasn’t there with him.
“Every time that happens, your heart is in your mouth because these things could be consequential. Is that a concern?” he then asked.
“It’s a concern for anyone. We’ve had presidents who had fallen before who were a lot younger, and people didn’t go into heart palpitations,” Clinton responded.
“But his age is an issue, and people have every right to consider it,” Clinton noted further, in a departure from other Democrats who have defended Biden by pushing back against criticisms regarding his age.
“But, you know, he has this great saying – and I think he’s right – don’t judge him for running against the Almighty but against the alternative. I am of the camp that I think he’s determined to run; he has a good record that, three years ago, people would not have predicted would have gotten done,” Clinton claimed.
Hillary on Biden: "His age is an issue and people have every right to consider it."
I actually agree with her!pic.twitter.com/CiI20z5Nh9
— Patriot Alerts (@alerts___) May 22, 2023
“He doesn’t get the credit yet for what is happening out in the country in terms of jobs and growth and planning for the future with CHIPS and other stuff,” Clinton noted further. “So, I obviously hope he stays very focused and able to compete in the election because I think he can be re-elected, and that’s what we should all hope for.”
Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history. If he wins reelection, he will be 81 years old on Inauguration Day.
Biden’s top aides have consistently downplayed any concerns regarding his mental and physical fitness. Last summer, when asked about Biden’s health by former CNN host Don Lemon, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dismissed the question: “That is not a question that we should be even asking.”
“Just look at the work he does. And look how he’s delivering for the American public,” she responded.
Now former-White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain praised Biden’s fitness in a virtual interview with the Economic Club of Washington last year: “He’s definitely in better shape than I am, that’s for sure. He’s very fit, he works out almost every day in the morning before he comes down to the Oval Office.”
“People see him on the job everyday and then what they see is a person who is fully capable of doing the job, fully vigorous, in great mental and physical health, and taking on the burdens of the office and executing them well,” Klain added.
“He puts many of us to shame with his energy,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) told Fox News Digital last month on Capitol Hill.
“As I age, I appreciate wisdom even more,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine added.
In an April interview with Sky News, Clinton appeared to indicate that she would at least entertain a third presidential run next year.
“I feel like I could do the job. I’m in my mid-70s. I think it really should be a matter of what he has done as president,” she said, in reference to Biden and his age.
She also predicted that Trump would not win next year if he becomes the GOP nominee, though in recent weeks new polling shows him ahead of Biden and pulling away.