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Newsom says Biden’s age is no problem: ‘I want a seasoned pro’

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom defended President Biden’s ability to serve in office amid growing concerns from Democrats that the president is too old to run for re-election.

In an interview with CNN, Newsom acknowledged that voters “have every right to be concerned” about Biden’s age (80) but insisted he was not concerned.

“I want a seasoned pro that knows how to get things done,” Newsom said. “I’m a little old-fashioned. I want a guy who produces results, and the results are in: It’s been a master class.” 

Newsom’s remarks came in response to a question about a recent CBS News/YouGov survey, which found that only one-third of American voters think Biden will remain in office through a second term. Were the president to win re-election and finish another term, he would be 86-years-old when he leaves office.


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (not pictured), Gavin Newsom and Darren Walker (not pictured) have a conversation during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting at the Hilton Midtown on September 18, 2023 in New York City. In a recent interview with CNN, Newsom said President Biden is a “seasoned pro” who is not too old to be president. (John Nacion/WireImage)

The popular and staunch progressive California governor, who declined to challenge Biden for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination, argued that the president’s record demonstrates he is not too old to lead the country.

“There’s simply no administration in my lifetime that’s been more effective producing more substantive results,” said the 55-year-old Newsom, who has lived through the Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, both Bush, Obama and Trump presidencies. 

He pointed to several bipartisan wins for the Biden White House, including deals on infrastructure, gun control, raising the debt ceiling and the CHIPS and Science Act, which incentivized companies to build and manufacture semiconductors in the U.S.

“I mean this, I couldn’t imagine three years ago that this president could accomplish so much in such a short period of time. I mean that,” Newsom emphasized.


President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. Biden, 80, would be 86 were he to leave office at the end of a second term as president.  (Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

While Newsom and others, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Vice President Kamala Harris, have defended Biden’s age, other Democrats have expressed hesitancy to the Biden-Harris 2024 ticket.

“I don’t think Biden and Vice President Harris should run for re-election,” Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a favorite scribe of the liberal establishment, wrote last week, pointing to the fact that Biden would be 82 at the start of a second term.

“It’s painful to say that, given my admiration for much of what they have accomplished. But if he and Harris campaign together in 2024, I think Biden risks undoing his greatest achievement — which was stopping [former President] Trump.” 

Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat from Minnesota, told NBC News recently that he believes “there are other candidates who have a far better chance and don’t have the actuarial risk that the president has.”


Vice President Kamala Harris gives remarks, alongside President Joe Biden, at an event celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 13, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Kamala Harris gives remarks, alongside President Joe Biden, at an event celebrating the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on the South Lawn of the White House on Sept. 13, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“Why does everyone have blinders on? Why are we essentially being led to this cliff without knowing what’s on the other side?” Phillps said. 

And former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile recently admitted she’s “not sleeping at night thinking all is well” and said Democrats should be concerned with making the case for Biden to continue in office.

Amid these concerns, the White House has repeatedly defended Biden’s age and mental acuity when asked by reporters.


“Look, here’s what I know,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Fox News’ Peter Doocy last week in response to a question about polling showing voter concerns over Biden’s age. “Here’s what I can speak to. I can speak to that – a president who has wisdom. I can speak to a president who has experience. I can speak to a president who has done historic – has taken historic action and has delivered in historic pieces of legislation. And that’s important.”

In an Associated Press poll this summer, 77% said Biden is too old to be effective for four more years, with 89% of Republicans taking that position along with 69% of Democrats.

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

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