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Biden pokes fun at Trump, age critiques at correspondents’ dinner

President Biden brushed off critiques about his age at what could be his last White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner as the incumbent campaigns for another four years in the Oval Office.

“The 2024 election is in full swing. And yes, age is an issue. I’m a grown man running against a six-year-old,” Biden said from behind the podium at the annual event. 

“I really feel great. I’m campaigning all over the country – Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina. I’ve always done well in the original 13 colonies,” the president said to laughter.

He also took swings at former President Trump, who he’s set to go against for a rematch on Election Day this fall.

“Age is the only thing we have in common. My vice president actually endorses me,” Biden quipped with a nod to Vice President Kamala Harris. Former Vice President Mike Pence ran against Trump for the GOP nod this cycle, and has declined to back his former boss. 

After a slew of jokes targeting Trump, Biden then took a more somber tone to talk about his 2024 rival to the room of journalists, lawmakers and celebrities.

“The defeated former president has made no secret of his attack on our democracy. He said he wants to be a dictator on day one, and so much more. He tells supporters he is their revenge and retribution. When in God’s name [have] you ever heard another president say something like that?” Biden asked, making reference to recent Trump remarks. 

“We have to take this seriously. Eight years ago, you could’ve written off [that] it was just Trump talk, but no longer. Not after January 6,” Biden said, calling on the audience to “move past the horse race numbers” and “focus on what’s actually at stake.” 

Biden and Trump have both scored the delegates they need to win their respective party nominations in this year’s presidential race, teeing up a repeat of their 2020 showdown. Polling forecasts a competitive fight – averages from The Hill/Decision Desk HQ show Trump up less than half a point over Biden, and a handful of key battlegrounds could decide the winner. 

Trump notably chose not to attend the annual dinner while he was in office. He’s also mired in an ongoing criminal trial, the first of any former president, related to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels amid his 2016 run. That courtroom battle, one of four criminal indictments against Trump and the first to go before a jury, is set to take Trump off the campaign trail four days a week for the next several weeks, which Democrats hope will be a boost for Biden. 

“I’ve had a great stretch since the State of the Union. But Donald has had a few tough days lately. You might call it ‘stormy weather’,” Biden said, making jab at the hush money trial.

Comedian Colin Jost followed Biden’s remarks at the dinner on Saturday with a roast of the incumbent and other political figures in the room, offering comic relief against a backdrop of congressional tensions and conflict abroad. 

Demonstrators protested media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war and the administration’s handling of the conflict near the Washington Hilton event space – and Biden notably didn’t make direct reference to the protests or the conflict during his speech.  

The war has become a political liability for Biden as he tries for another White House term. Cease-fire protestors have interrupted multiple campaign stops and protest vote efforts have cropped up in several state primaries, even scoring some delegates to the Democrats’ national convention later this year.

Biden repeated calls he made during last year’s dinner for the release of American journalists Austin Tice, who was kidnapped while reporting in Syria in 2012, and Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter detained in Russia.

“We’re not going to give up until we get them home,” Biden said.

Updated at 11:29 pm EST.

Source: The Hill

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