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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged a question about whether President Biden would ‘survive’ a full second-term in office – instead defending Biden’s record on infrastructure and the budget.
She got asked at Monday’s White House press briefing about criticism from Republican former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley – who has repeatedly knocked Biden’s cognitive ability and on Monday said a vote for Biden is ‘actually a vote for President Harris’ – in reference to Vice President Kamala Harris.
‘What do you say to anyone who is questioning whether the president would survive a full four-year term?’ Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked her.
Jean-Pierre responded by citing the Hatch Act, which places limitations on politicking by U.S. government officials during their official duties but wouldn’t necessarily preclude her from weighing in on the president’s health, which Republicans are seeking to make a campaign issue.
‘So, let me just say this – I’m not going to comment on the 2024 — she is a candidate,’ Jean-Pierre responded, adding she wanted to be careful. ‘And we do follow the Hatch Act, so I want to be really, really mindful here,’ she added.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t respond directly when asked about a comment by Nikki Haley that a vote for Biden, 80, was a vote for ‘President Harris.’ She was asked point blank about Biden surviving a second term
Then she went into a defense of Biden’s legislative record. ‘Look, this is a president, if you look at his track record – and I’m saying this more broadly, if you look at what he’s been able to do, he has been able to push forward and get done historic pieces of legislation,’ she said.
‘He has gotten more done than any other president when you think about the infrastructure or legislation. when you think about the last president, it was a joke. We were talking about “Infrastructure Week” — it was literally a joke. Now you hear the president talk about “infrastructure decade.”
She went on to talk about Medicare, job creation, and the bipartisan budget deal Biden signed over the weekend.
‘That matters to the American people,’ she said.
Her comments came after Biden, 80, took a tumble while handing out diplomas to cadets at the Coast Guard Academy graduation last week in Colorado, prompting new questions about his condition as he prepares for a grueling campaign.
Biden joked with reporters after the incident, jogging toward the White House and saying he got ‘sandbagged’ – in reference to the black sandbag he evidently tripped over on stage.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said a vote for Biden was a ‘vote for President Harris.’ She renewed her call for ‘mental competency tests’
Biden, 80, is seeking to become the oldest president to be reelected
Haley sought to shift the focus to Vice President Kamala Harris
President Joe Biden is helped up after falling during the graduation ceremony at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. He fell while handing out diplomas to cadets
The led to a deep dive by the New York Times on Sunday by the New York Times, which cited people calling Biden ‘sharp as a tack,’ but also noted the White House physician’s diagnosis of arthritis in his spine and stiffness in his gait.
Haley, 51, kicked off her campaing by citing doubts about Biden’s mental capacity. On Monday, on Fox News, she sought to tie him to his vice president, who like Biden has an underwater approval rating, and has struggled on immigration and other issues.
‘We can’t continue down this path. And let’s be very clear if they think it’s going to be President Biden, a vote for President Biden, it’s actually a vote for president Harris. We are running against Kamala Harris. Make no bones about it,’ said Haley, who is polling at about 4 percent in the RealClearPolitics average.
Harris, the nation’s first black and first female vice president, has a 51 percent disapproval rating, according to fivethirtyeight, with 38 percent approval. Biden has higher disapproval, at 55 per cent, but also higher approval, at 41 per cent.