Biden and Trump’s Age a Key Topic at Annual Gridiron Club Dinner

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

While Donald Trump spent his Saturday talking about ‘bloodbaths’ and automobiles, Joe Biden was at the annual Gridiron Club dinner making some headlines of his own. His speech was filled with jokes and small jabs – as is tradition at the dinner – but there’s one comment that has everyone talking. Don’t worry – we’ll get you caught up!

What Is The Gridiron Club Dinner?

The Gridiron Club, founded in 1885, is one of Washington D.C.’s longest-standing journalism institutions. It’s best known for its annual dinner, which brings together club members, journalists, and Washington elites for a night of satirical musical skits and joke-filled speeches.

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The dinner is primarily known for two things: its dress code and its media policy. Under the dress code, men wear white ties, while women wear floor-length dresses. As for the media policy, no cameras or outside media are allowed – which adds to the ‘secrecy’ of the night.

Biden Is First President To Attend Since 2018

This year’s installment was held on Saturday (March 16) at the Grand Hyatt Washington. Joe Biden attended the dinner for the first time as President of the United States, and he became the first President to attend since Donald Trump in 2018.

Source: Flickr/The White House

Biden was joined by Kamala Harris (Vice President), eight Cabinet members, five members of Congress, and five governors. Leo Varadkar (the Taoiseach of Ireland), Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon), and Shou Zi Chew (the CEO of TikTok) were also in attendance.

Biden Jokes About Trump’s Mental Fitness And Age

During his speech, Biden acknowledged that the ‘big news this week is two candidates clinched their parties’ nomination for president’ – which both Biden and Trump did earlier that week. “One candidate is too old, mentally unfit to be president. The other’s me,” he joked.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

Biden went on to joke that the Republicans ‘would rather fail at impeachment than succeed at anything else.’ He also criticized them for wanting a secure border but voting against a key border bill, and taking credit for one of the ‘biggest infrastructure laws’ before voting against it.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox Keeps The Joke Alive

One of the governors in attendance was Utah Gov. Spencer Cox – a member of the Republican party who served as the 8th Lieutenant Governor of Utah before taking office in 2021. He also serves as the Chair of the National Governors Association.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

While speaking in front of the nearly 650 attendees, he joked that he would announce his candidacy for the presidency in 2052, “when I still will be younger than both President Biden and President Trump.” At 48, he would be 76 in 2052 – for reference, Biden is 81, and Trump is 77.

“When I’m Sixty-Four” By The Beatles

As part of the tradition, the Gridiron Club’s 65 members perform satirical skits and songs to entertain the audience. One of the songs they sang was “When I’m Sixty-Four” by The Beatles, but it was edited to poke fun at Biden’s and Trump’s ages.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In addition to Biden, the Democrats were represented by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She assumed office in 2019 after nearly 15 years in the Michigan Senate and Michigan House and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Both Parties Using Age As Bulletin Board Material

As the presidential election heats up, both Republicans and Democrats are using age as a key criticism for their opponent. It’s ironic, really. Four years ago, when Biden was 77, Republicans said he was too old to run for President.

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Now, four years later, Trump is 77 and seeking re-election – and Republicans couldn’t be more behind him. The growing consensus is that both candidates are old, and neither one has the track record to criticize the other for their age or mental mishaps.

Robert Hur Feeds The Long-Standing Debate

Biden’s remarks during the Gridiron Club dinner come just a few weeks after Robert Hur released his controversial report following his investigation into Biden’s classified documents case. Biden wasn’t charged, but that’s not what had everyone up in arms.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

In the report, Hur repeatedly made note of Biden’s poor memory – even having a hard time remembering the year his son died. Democrats thought Hur went too far in criticizing the President, while Republicans thought he didn’t go far enough.

Biden Says America Better Off Than Four Years Ago

In an effort to string together support ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Biden said he hopes to help Americans understand that they are ‘better off than four years ago.’ He praised what his Administration has done, despite inheriting a pandemic and crippling economy.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

We got so much through the pandemic, turned around the economy, reestablished America’s leadership in the world. All without encouraging the American people to inject bleach,” Biden joked – referring to Trump’s controversial take during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Praises Media As ‘Pillar Of Any Free Society’

Biden also took a moment to praise the media. While he doesn’t always agree with the things they have to say (or how they go about saying those things), he stressed the importance of a free press and stressed how much this country needs them – now more than ever.

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“Let me state the obvious. You’re not the enemy of the people. You are a pillar of any free society. And I may not always agree with your coverage or admire it, but I do admire your courage,” he said. “We need you. Democracy is at risk, and the American people need to know.”

Biden and Trump Clinch Presidential Nominations

As the President alluded to during his speech, Joe Biden and Donald Trump have officially clinched their nominations for this year’s presidential election – and they did it in a landslide fashion.

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Trump outlasted former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who dropped out of the race on March 6 – following a strong Super Tuesday by Trump. Biden, on the other hand, didn’t face a lot of opposition, especially with Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer deciding not to run.

How Are The Polls Shaping Up?

Earlier this month, Reuters conducted a survey to see what Americans were thinking more than six months out from the election. The results give us a clear look at just how close the Biden-Trump rematch will be this November.

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39% of respondents said they would vote for Biden if the election were today, while 38% said they would vote for Trump – 11% said they would vote for another party, 5% said they wouldn’t vote at all, and 7% said they weren’t sure (or didn’t want to say).

Biden Says Democracy Is Under Attack

Biden is running under the slogan ‘finish the job’ as he attempts to finish what he started nearly four years ago. But he says another four years isn’t just about his legacy – it’s about the future of democracy, which he says is under attack by Republicans.

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“Here at home, our basic freedom is under assault — the freedom to vote, the freedom to choose, and so much more,” he said on Saturday. “The lies about the 2020 election, the plots to overturn it, to embrace the January 6th insurrectionists pose the gravest threat to our democracy since the American Civil War.”

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Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

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