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Nancy Pelosi defends Biden’s fitness, calling him ‘very sharp’ despite age

By Jake Beardslee · February 15, 2024

In brief…

  • Pelosi said she has worked closely with Biden and he has always been "on the ball" and knowledgeable about key issues.
  • Pelosi acknowledged Biden makes some mistakes but downplayed concerns over his age, noting she is older than him.
  • Pelosi contrasted Biden's gaffes with Trump's repeated mistakes, implying Biden's were less intentional.
  • If reelected, Biden would be the oldest president in history at 86 which has raised fitness concerns.
Pelosi vouched for President Biden's mental acuity, arguing he is "very sharp" on issues based on their long working relationship.  US Department of Labor/Wikimedia

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended President Biden’s mental fitness in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Despite recent gaffes by the president, including mixing up world leaders last week, Pelosi maintained that Biden is “very sharp.”

Pelosi, who is 83 and older than the 81-year-old Biden, said she has “worked with the president for a long time” and he has always been “on the ball.” She noted that Biden “knows these issues” and “helped write some of” the legislation he campaigned on.

“Anyone who would think that they’re at some advantage because of his age thinks that at their peril, because he’s very sharp,” Pelosi told Cooper.

Biden’s age and mental acuity have become topics of concern for some Democrats, especially after special counsel Robert Hur’s report detailed the president’s “memory lapses.” Hur referred to Biden as an “elderly man with a poor memory” in his investigation into Biden’s handling of classified documents.

When asked about these concerns over Biden’s fitness for office, Pelosi acknowledged the president does “make mistakes” at times. However, she pointed out that “age is an objective fact” and added, “He’s younger than I am, so what do I have to say about his age?”

Pelosi also noted that former President Trump, now 77, would often make the “same mistake seven times about one thing or another.” She said Trump’s gaffes were more than just “slip[s] of the tongue,” implying Biden’s mistakes were less concerning.