Biden Goes Off-Script for Lifeless Joke at Hamptons Fundraiser, Admits He Seems 25 Years Older Than Jill

After a dismal Thursday night debate performance that left the Democratic Party reeling, President Joe Biden hit the wealthy Hamptons crowd over the weekend to line his campaign coffers. He made sure to joke about the debate reception and ensuing concerns over his health by poking fun at the age gap between himself and First Lady Jill Biden.

Biden, 81, and the First Lady, 73, who are eight years and seven months apart, attended a fundraiser hosted by Barry Rosenstein, the founder of hedge fund JANA Partners, at the billionaire’s East Hampton mansion on Saturday, despite widespread calls for the president to step down following his shaky Thursday night debate showing.

Attendees who spoke to TheWrap said Biden gave a 15-minute speech at the event, but unlike the debate (and unusually for an intimate fundraiser), he was aided by a teleprompter. Guests at the sold-out event paid up to $250,000 to attend and were each allowed a photo with the president.

Former White House communications director and financier Anthony Scaramucci was in attendance and told TheWrap, “Off-prompter Biden said [something] … which was heartwarming — the real Joe Biden.”

“Jill introduced him, and before he got on the prompter, he looked into the audience. He said, ‘When I met Jill, we were nine years apart in age. She was 25, and I was 34.’ He goes, ‘Somehow, we’re now 25 years apart in age,’ implying that he’s now 25 years older,” Scaramucci recalled. “It was a funny line, but because it seems so true, I don’t think people wanted to laugh.”

Scaramucci, the founder of Skybridge Capital, was among guests that also included Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Howard Stern, Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch, Democratic megadonar Jennifer Bayer Michaels and filmmaker Margaret Munzer Loeb at Saturday’s Hamptons fundraiser.

“He seemed more fired up, more himself than he did on Thursday,” Scaramucci added. “In his speech, he said … that he had a bad debate night. ‘You get knocked down, you get back up again.'” Biden reportedly joked, “You don’t have to compare me to the almighty, you just have to compare me to the alternative.”

Scaramucci further said there was no talk at the event of Biden stepping down — despite swirling rumors of Democrats seeking an alternative — noting that the president told the crowd, “I fully believe I’m capable of doing this job and seeing it through for the next four years.”

But a donor who asked not to be identified disagreed: “I thought he was a two,” this person said. “It was like [Jill Biden] had sucked the lifeblood out of him. She was fire and brimstone, and he came out looking weak.”

A Democratic insider who asked not to be named, additionally told TheWrap that heavy doubts still linger about Biden’s ability to make it through the November election. “He spoke on a teleprompter at the Hamptons event, which was a matter of concern, because these events are usually off-the-cuff. Yet he was energized, he spoke better and seemed more like himself,” they said.

“The harsh truth is that the only thing Democrats are concerned about is that Biden can survive election day and beat Trump,” the insider added. “Nobody seems to care what the next four years would be [under Biden], it is all about the next six months. The focus is can Biden get through this election? And if he does, then they’ll figure it out.”

The individual added that Democratic advisors have been pushing Biden to be more public, ending his reluctance for press conferences, instead suggesting to meet the press once a week, hosting more town hall meetings and participating in more debates to reassure voters.

“He should be out on ’60 Minutes,’ he should be doing weekly press conferences, he should be doing town halls. People are truly worried about his health,” this person noted.

Reps for the Biden campaign did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

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