Rep. Pramila Jayapal says Biden's age is not 'ideal' but that the coverage has been 'very unfair' to him

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the top progressive in the House, acknowledged that Biden's age is an issue.

  • But she says that the coverage has been "unfair" and Trump also has frequent slip-ups.

  • She also said that Biden could lose the election over US support for Israel's war in Gaza.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal acknowledged that President Joe Biden's age is an issue — but she argues that media coverage of it has been "very unfair."

The Washington Democrat, who also chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, held a briefing with reporters on Thursday morning to discuss the caucus's priorities and Biden's State of the Union address.

Business Insider asked the congresswoman whether the 81-year-old president had done enough to assuage the public's concerns about his age, given that polling has consistently shown that voters are worried about it and the revelations from Special Counsel Robert Hur's report.

"Is it ideal to have two guys, two white dudes, who are in their last three decades of their life, as president?" Jayapal asked. "Is that ideal? I mean, if we could just pick anybody, and there were other options, maybe not. But I do feel like people are very unfair to this president."

Jayapal pointed out that former President Donald Trump, who's 77, frequently makes verbal slip-ups as well, including at times referring to Biden as "Obama."

"Donald Trump thinks he's running against President Obama!" the congresswoman exclaimed.

Jayapal argued that the White House needs to "allow the President to play to his strengths," suggesting that standing in front of teleprompters wasn't the best way to achieve that. She noted that Biden is "so good one-on-one" and potentially in town hall settings.

" I do think empathy is his superpower," said Jayapal. "I think he's able to connect with people's hardships in a way that very few people at that level of politics are able to do."

The congresswoman also indicated that she believes ongoing US support for Israel's war in Gaza was a more pressing issue for Biden's reelection than his age, saying that she's "extremely supportive" of voters who cast "uncommitted" ballots because it's a "non-binding" way of registering their disapproval of Biden's Israel policies.

"If we lose this election, I believe it will be because of our policy on the Middle East," said Jayapal, saying she felt the "same thing on the ground" that she felt ahead of 2016, when she expected Trump to win.

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