HOOKSETT, NH – Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is questioning whether President Biden has the “strength” to handle the “very tough job” of president of the United States.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, the long-shot Democratic presidential primary challenger urged the 80-year-old Biden to hold “unscripted meetings and contacts with voters” to determine the American if the president is “on the job.”
Biden has faced questions and concerns about his age since he made history in 2020 when he became the oldest person elected president. If the president wins re-election next year, he will be 82 at his second inauguration and 86 at the end of his second term.
Polls have long indicated that Americans have concerns about Biden’s age. The most recent survey on the issue from CNN indicated that about three-quarters of Americans said they were seriously concerned that the president’s age could negatively affect his current level of physical and mental ability and his ability to serve another full four-year term if re-elected.
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Republican presidential contenders have repeatedly asked Biden about his age.
The GOP White House candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday in an interview with CBS News that “I think that’s absolutely a legitimate concern. The presidency is not a job for an 80-year-old.”
Now, the 69-year-old Kennedy appears to be taking a page from the same political playbook.
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“A lot of people will say ‘President Biden is surrounded by very good people who will run the country even if he can’t,’ but I don’t think that’s a good way for democracy to work,” Kennedy told Fox. News on Tuesday.
The environmental lawyer, high-profile vaccine critic, and scion of arguably the nation’s most famous political dynasty, expressed concerns that “unelected people on lanyards will make critical decisions at a very difficult time in our history.”
“It’s important for the American people to know that their president has the strength to handle this very difficult job and I think there are enough doubts about that right now that President Biden really needs to come out and have an unscripted meeting and conversation. -voter contact, that he needs to do some town halls and retail politics and hopefully a debate so that the American people can choose whether the president is up to the job or not,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy highlighted concerns over Biden’s age after being asked about comments he made in an interview last week when he said people should vote for “a president that we hope will complete the term.”
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A national Democratic strategist, who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely, took aim at Kennedy, sarcastically telling Fox News that it was “absolutely shocking that the pro-Russia, pro-gun, anti-vaxxer candidate pretending to be a Democrat is parroting. the same tired, tired Republican talking points. Indulge me.”
Kennedy was interviewed before a campaign event with voters at Robie’s General Store in Hooksett, New Hampshire, a longtime early voting state stop by White House opponents.
The candidate repeated his claims that he was not getting a fair shake from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
“The DNC’s own rules say they have to be neutral during the election but they’re open about abandoning their neutrality and they’ve created a series of rules that make it almost — if those rules continue — make it almost “It’s impossible for anyone but Joe Biden to win the primary,” Kennedy charged.
And he reiterated his argument that the DNC is “disenfranchising Democratic voters” in the primary process.
“We live in a time where many people believe that the system is rigged, that democracy doesn’t work anymore,” Kennedy warned.
He urged that “the Democratic Party should be a temple for Democracy. It should be a model of democracy. Most Americans assume that the candidate who wins should be the candidate who gets the most votes and that we should have rules which actually reflects that. assumption.”
Kennedy’s concerns with the DNC centered on its often conflicting roles as the impartial referee of the presidential nominating process while at the same time following the long-standing tradition and precedent of both major national party committees in -endorsing and supporting the re-election campaign of the sitting president.
Candidate complaints about a Democratic nomination process that favors the president have been combined in recent days with what appear to be unfounded allegations of election fraud against the DNC
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison responded to Kennedy’s allegations in a letter obtained Tuesday by Fox News.
Harrison wrote that “there are clearly serious misunderstandings in the Democratic nominating process that are important to correct.”
“I hope that a meeting with our Delegate Selection leadership team will prevent future opportunities for voters to receive misinformation that could cause confusion about the fairness of the Democratic nominating process,” the DNC chair added.
The latest polls in the Democratic presidential nomination race indicate that Kennedy and fellow primary challenger Marianne Williamson face a steep climb against Biden.
But Kennedy appears to be gaining some support among independent voters, Libertarians, and even some Republicans.
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Asked if he would consider a third party White House run if he doesn’t succeed in the race for the Democratic nomination, Kenney said: “we hope that I can run in the Democratic Party and at this point that’s the plan.”
Kennedy repeated that when it comes to the Democratic nomination race, “I’m very confident that if I’m given a fair shot, that I’m going to win.”
Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more in our Fox News Digital election hub.