Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday dismissed the idea that his former boss could have been thinking about him when extolling the virtues of women leaders and questioning the value of older men clinging to power.
According to BBC, former President Barack Obama asserted during a private event in Singapore this week that women are “indisputably” better leaders than men, and predicted that if more women led countries around the globe, you would see a “significant improvement across the board on just about everything.”
“If you look at the world and look at the problems,” he added, according to the outlet, “it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way.”
At Thursday’s PBS NewsHour/POLITICO Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Biden, the two oldest men on the debate stage, were both quizzed on the former president’s take. While Sanders argued that he respectfully agreed with the former commander in chief, Biden rejected the idea his former boss could have been alluding to him.
“I’m going to guess he wasn’t talking about me either,” Biden quipped, defending his age as an asset rather than a flaw.
“Look, I’m running — because I’ve been around — on my experience,” he argued. “With my experience hopefully comes judgment and a little bit of wisdom.”
Biden continued: “The fact is, we’re in a position now the next president of the United States will inherit two things: an economy out of kilter and a domestic policy that needs to be — we will have to unite America. And a foreign policy that requires somebody to be able on Day One to stand up, look out, [have] the entire world know who that person is, know what they stand for and know they know them, and that’s the reason I’m running. I have more experience in doing that than anybody on this stage.”
Both Biden and Sanders have been dogged by questions about their identities as septuagenarian white males atop the most diverse field of Democratic candidates ever. While several other White House hopefuls have cast their candidacies as a chance to usher in a new era of leadership, the former vice president has signaled to aides that he could only serve one term in office if elected.
When the same question was posed to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who moderator Tim Alberta noted would be the oldest president ever inaugurated, she had a retort of her own at the ready.
“I’d also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated,” she shot back with a smile.
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