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Tags: mitch mcconnell | joe biden | donald trump | aging | dianne feinstein | polling | resignation

McConnell's 'Freezes' Highlight Age Issue in 2024

By    |   Friday, 01 September 2023 09:24 AM EDT

For Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., it was the second "freezing" episode caught on camera in less than two months.

During a press conference Wednesday, McConnell, 81, struggled to respond to questions for about 30 seconds. A similar incident happened in July.

While allies of McConnell are attempting to downplay the incidents, others are calling for the longest-serving Senate leader to step down and questioning the roles of aging government officials.

"He really should contemplate either stepping down as leader, announcing he's going to retire at the end of this term, and maybe go to a reduced role in the Senate," former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Thursday on Newsmax.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on Wednesday called out McConnell and other lawmakers who have had health struggles while in office, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 90, who has faced multiple calls from her own party to step down.

"Severe aging health issues and/or mental health incompetence in our nation's leaders MUST be addressed," Greene wrote on social media platform X. "[President Joe] Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and [Sen. John] Fetterman [D-Pa.] are examples of people who are not fit for office and it's time to be serious about it. We are talking about our country's national security and it's all at stake! 25th amendment and other measures need to be on the table."

Biden and former President Donald Trump have faced questions about their age and competency, as the current front-runners for the 2024 Democrat and Republican presidential nominations, respectively.

At 80, Biden is the oldest sitting president in U.S. history, which polling has shown is a major concern to voters as he gears up for reelection. According to an Associated Press-NORC poll released Monday, 77% of respondents say Biden is too old to serve effectively for another four years. In a stinging rebuke from Biden's own party, 69% of Democrats agreed, as did nearly 90% of Republicans.

Just over half of the survey's participants said Trump, 77, is too old to serve another four-year term, with 71% of Democrats and 28% of Republicans agreeing.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre pushed back against critics of Biden's age in an interview with CNN on Wednesday.

"What this president brings to this administration is wisdom and experience," she said. "People have come after the president about his age: they did it in 2019, they did it in 2020 leading into the general election, they did it in 2022, and guess what? He beats them every time because he has his finger on the pulse of what it is the American people need."

During his interview with Newsmax, Santorum questioned Biden's cognitive abilities, and said what happened with McConnell is not comparable.

"This is not like Joe Biden, who had sort of a cognitive decline over a period of years which continues," Santorum said. "This was an acute incident that has caused the problem he has.

"Unlike Democrats, Republicans actually do speak out about this and actually are calling for him to take either a reduced role as senator or to step down and announce his resignation at some point. You don't see that from the other side."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

For Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., it was the second "freezing" episode caught on camera in less than two months.
mitch mcconnell, joe biden, donald trump, aging, dianne feinstein, polling, resignation
Friday, 01 September 2023 09:24 AM
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