President Biden said Friday that Vice President Kamala Harris “hasn’t gotten the credit she deserves” as he defended his re-election campaign’s strategy of prominently featuring the vice president amid questions about his advanced age.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, Biden, 80, was asked what message his campaign sent by featuring Harris “10 times” in the video announcing his candidacy for re-election.
“Look, I just think that Vice President Harris hasn’t gotten the credit she deserves,” Biden said. “She was an attorney general of the state of California. She has been a United States senator, she is really very, very good. And with everything going on, she hasn’t gotten the attention she deserves.”
Ruhle followed up by noting that Biden, who is already the oldest serving president in American history, would be 82 at the start of his second term if he wins re-election.
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“Critics would say you’re elevating [Harris] because they think you wouldn’t serve a full term, and it is fair to say that there’s not a Fortune 500 company in the world looking to hire a CEO in his 80s.
“So why would an 82-year-old Joe Biden be the right person for the most important job in the world?” she asked.
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“Because I have acquired a hell of a lot of wisdom and know more than the vast majority of people,” Biden replied.
“I’m more experienced than anybody that’s ever run for the office and I think I’ve proven myself to be honorable as well as also effective,” he said.
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Despite the president’s assurances, polls show Biden’s age remains a top concern for voters and the majority of Democrats don’t want him to run for re-election. A CBS poll released last week showed only 22% of Democrats were “excited” about Biden’s re-election campaign. The poll also found the nearly half of Democrats who say they don’t want him to run are overwhelmingly concerned about the 80-year-old president’s age.
Other polls have ranked Biden’s approval rating in the low-to-mid 40s. At the same time, the Harris consistently ranks lower than Biden, with approval ratings stagnant in the high 30s.
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Axios reported last week that senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn has tasked White House teams to schedule more events featuring Harris and have her promote more popular aspects of the Democratic platform as part of an effort to rehabilitate her with voters.
The first two years of Biden’s presidency saw Harris tasked with the least popular and most difficult issues, such as reforming elections and handling the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Some Democrats have asserted Harris was “set up to fail” with an impossible portfolio, though the vice president has dismissed those concerns.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar, Brandon Gillespie and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.