Biden tries to turn the tables on Trump: ‘He’s about as old as I am’

President Biden has come up with a new defense against claims he’s too old to run for another term: At least he knows who his wife is — unlike “the other guy.”

As he expands his efforts to convince voters that he is fit for another four years, Mr. Biden took to the talk show circuit, using an appearance on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers” to take a jab at his challenger, former President Donald J. Trump , about his own struggle with memory.

In a playful but pointed interview scheduled to air early Tuesday morning, Mr. Meyers sought to help the president address the issue of age, which polls show is an important flaw in the minds of most voters. Mr. Meyers jokingly told the president that he had obtained classified information showing that “you are currently 81 years old.”

Mr. Biden agreed with the joke. “Who the hell told you that?” he asked. “It’s confidential!”

Then he moved on to Mr. Trump, who is 77 years old, over a video in which he appears to call his wife Melania Trump by another name. “You have to get another guy,” Mr. Biden said. “He’s about my age, but he can’t remember his wife’s name.”

More seriously, Mr. Biden added that it’s not about how old the candidates are. “It’s about how old your ideas are,” he said. “Look, this is the guy who wants to bring us back. He wants to take us back to Roe v. Wade. He wants to bring us back to a whole series of issues that — 50 to 60 years ago, those were solid American positions.”

The president has defended his memory in recent weeks, particularly since the special counsel, in a report on Mr. Biden’s handling of classified documents, explained that one of the reasons he would not indict Mr. Biden was that he would come across to the jury as “a well-intentioned, older man with a bad memory”. During an interview with the special counsel, the report said, Mr. Biden could not recall key dates from his vice-presidential tenure or the year his son Beau died. Mr. Biden’s lawyers attacked the special counsel for mentioning it.

And Mr. Trump has had plenty of moments of confusion in recent weeks. Among other things, he confused his Republican opponent Nikki Haley with former President Nancy Pelosi, claimed that in 2016 he defeated Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, and warned that the country was on the brink of World War II.

The moment Mr. Biden referred to came during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland over the weekend when Mr. Trump praised Mrs. Trump and then, as the audience applauded, said: “Oh, look at that, Mercedes — that’s pretty good .”

Mr. Meyers played that clip before Mr. Biden went on the show, mocking Mr. Trump for appearing to forget Mrs. Trump’s name. However, Mr. Trump was addressing Mercedes Schlapp, a former White House adviser whose husband, Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union, is hosting the conference, according to the former president’s spokesman, Steven Cheung. “The footage was taken out of context by disingenuous people,” Mr Cheung said.

Yet Mr. Trump has done so in the past misspelled Melania’s name on Twitter like “Melanie.” And during a deposition in the defamation case brought by E. Jean Carroll, Mr. Trump mistakenly identified a picture of Ms. Carroll as Marla Maples, his second wife. A jury found that Mr. Trump sexually assaulted Ms. Carroll in the 1990s, and a separate jury ordered him to pay $83.3 million in defamation.

Mr. Biden joined Mr. Meyers to celebrate the late-night show’s 10th anniversary, a decade after he appeared on the program’s debut episode in 2014 when he was vice president. It was Mr. Biden’s fourth appearance on the late-night show since becoming president. He was a guest of Jimmy Fallon in 2021 Jimmy Kimmel 2022 and further “The Daily Show” in 2023.

The crowd was important to Mr. Biden, who relied on strong support among younger voters to defeat Mr. Trump in 2020 and needs them again despite polls showing disillusionment among that generation. But he slipped up when asked about his 2024 agenda. “The agenda for 2020 is to get the job done,” he said.

Mr. Meyers asked the president about the “Dark Brandon” meme his junior aides have been promoting online, a laser-eyed version of the president meant to appear cool and hip. Asked if he was enjoying the meme, Mr. Biden quipped, “No, I’m mad as hell about it,” before donning a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses.

When Mr. Meyers noted that many on the political right had bought into the bizarre conspiracy theory that he and Taylor Swift were “working in concert,” Mr. Biden playfully snapped: “Where did you get this information? It is confidential. It is confidential information.”

“But,” he quickly added, “I will tell you that she supported me in 2020.

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