President Joe Biden is too old for another term in the White House, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed in a new ABC News/Ipsos poll say.
According to the poll, which was released Sunday after being conducted Feb. 9 and 10 — the days following a report from special counsel Robert Hur that described Biden as “well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” — 86 percent of Americans think Biden, who is 81, is too old to serve another term. That includes 59 percent of those surveyed who said both Biden and former President Donald Trump, who is 77, are too old to hold the office.
Twenty-seven percent said only Biden is too old, while 3 percent said only Trump is too old. The poll surveyed 528 adults ages 18 or older and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
The poll is the latest blow to the Biden campaign, which has been working feverishly to dispel the notion that Biden does not have the capacity to effectively serve out another term after Hur’s report provided a withering assessment of the president’s mental acuity.
Hur was assigned to investigate Biden’s possible mishandling of classified documents last year, after the president discovered the documents in his home and former office.
Investigators found insufficient evidence to charge Biden for mishandling classified documents during his time as vice president but wrote his memory “appeared to have significant limitations” and that “he did not remember, even within several years, when his son Beau died” in 2015. Biden could not remember when he was vice president or the details of a debate about sending additional troops to Afghanistan, they alleged.
The poll, conducted after the report was made public, could be the first sign of the report’s impact on voters’ perception of the president. Concerns about both Biden and Trump’s age appear to have increased since September, when 74 percent of those surveyed in an ABC News/Washington Post poll said they believed Biden was too old to be reelected.
Biden surrogates and campaign officials are making a significant effort to beat back the report’s depiction of Biden.
On Sunday, Biden campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu called the idea that Biden isn’t capable of carrying out the duties of the office “a bucket of BS that’s so deep, your boots will get stuck in it.”
The statements by Hur drew comparison to FBI Director James Comey’s decision in July 2016 to assail Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material even as he said she would not be charged. In both cases, critics labeled the remarks as cheap shots.
“Based on the law and the facts, which is what lawyers and special counsels are supposed to look on, the conclusion was that the president had engaged in no wrongdoing, period, end of story,” Landrieu said Sunday during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“But unfortunately, that’s not where the special prosecutor left it. He decided to add, ad-hominem, gratuitous attacks about the president’s, the death of the president’s son — which everybody knows is just an incredible personal thing to him, as it is to any parent who’s lost somebody — and then extra attacks that even senators like Mitt Romney, and White House Counsel under Trump, [Ty] Cobb, felt was just ridiculous,” Landrieu added.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas similarly batted the report’s description aside.
“The most difficult part about a meeting with President Biden is preparing for it, because he is sharp, intensely probing and detail-oriented and focused,” Mayorkas told NBC’s Kristen Welker during an interview on “Meet the Press.”