Is Donald Trump Sensitive To Biden Old Age Mockery? – Former President Donald Trump is still leading the field in the race to secure the Republican nomination for President, and at 76 years-old, he would be one of the oldest Presidents in American history if elected in 2024.
Incumbent President Joe Biden, at 80 years-old, has faced a barrage of criticisms from the political right about his frequent gaffes, falls, and forgetfulness – something Trump may, himself, face if he wins in his third campaign to take the White House.
Trump, however, recently made headlines when he chided Fox host Sean Hannity for commenting on Biden’s mental state. Trump said that Hannity shouldn’t joke about Biden’s cognitive ability or mental state because it’s a “serious problem” that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Donald Trump Turns On Hannity
Trump and Hannity were discussing Biden in the context Biden’s recent fall at a speaking engagement with an Air Force Academy.
Hannity claimed that Biden’s fall is evidence that he’s cognitively impaired, asking “does anyone agree with me that this guy is cognitively not there? I doubt he knows what day of the week it is today.”
Donald Trump objected to Hannity’s tone, saying it wasn’t proper to joke about Biden in such a way.
“Honestly, I don’t think it looks good for you or for anybody for you to joke about it because it’s a serious problem,” Trump said, adding that “you can speak about it if you want, but I don’t think you should joke about it.”
That could be taken as a sign that Trump is worried that voters could feel the same about him in some capacity – or he could be worried he could be perceived as old.
Biden’s Cognitive Issues
Conservative commentators and voters have long questioned Biden’s ability to lead, citing his forgetfulness, verbal gaffes, and multiple falls.
This has not gone unnoticed by those on the right most opposed to Biden’s agenda.
Why Is Trump So Defensive?
Let’s face the facts: Trump is elderly and appears sensitive to the idea of mocking older folks for mishaps and accidents.
It’s also true that a significant part of Trump’s electorate are elderly and he has good reason to avoid alienating or making light of the physical and mental challenges faced by older people.
In fact, as Pew notes, “more than half of Republican and GOP-leaning voters (56%) are ages 50 and older, up from 39% in 1996.”
Trump also expressed concern about his own age and the potential of having a falling incident.
“You can’t fall. You just can’t fall, no matter what. You just can’t allow it to happen,” Trump said. “I better not allow it, especially after saying this, I better not allow it to happen with me.”
Trump has a lot to say about his Republican opponents, and plenty to say about Biden, too – but we may not see him mentioning Biden’s age anytime soon.
Paul Brian is an author and freelance journalist who has reported for Reuters, BBC and Foreign Policy, and contributed to the Spectator, the Federalist and the American Conservative. He has covered global events from Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Middle East to South America.