Exclusive: US First Lady Jill Biden confident husband will be re-elected

“I don’t think you need to look at his age; you need to look at what he’s accomplished, what he’s doing right now, and what he will continue to do for the people of the United States,” Biden told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview.

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US First Lady Jill Biden said Thursday that she was confident her husband would be re-elected during the 2024 presidential elections while also batting down criticism about the incumbent president’s age.

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“You know, Joe has more energy than a 40-year-old. Look at all he’s done in the last three years,” the first lady told Al Arabiya in an exclusive interview from the White House.

President Biden, 80, is already the oldest American president and would be 82 years old during a second term if re-elected.

But he has continued to face blistering attacks over his age from former President Donald Trump, who is also running for re-election. Since taking office, Biden has had multiple falls and several speaking blunders, leading to questions over his ability to run the country.



Nevertheless, his doctors have given him a clean bill of health, and the first lady is confident of his abilities.

Pointing to Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, the first lady said: “I don’t think you need to look at his age; you need to look at what he’s accomplished, what he’s doing right now, and what he will continue to do for the people of the United States.”

As for the attacks from Trump on the president and the Biden family, Jill Biden said she tries not to listen to them.

Trump has accused the Biden family of being corrupt, while Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have launched a probe into the family’s work with international businesses.

“They’re very different administrations, very different leaders,” Biden said of Trump and her husband. “From what this country saw, I thought that the last administration was filled with chaos and confusion.”

Jill Biden added: “And in my husband’s administration, I feel that he’s offered Americans strong, steady leadership. And I think that’s why he was elected, and I think that’s why they will elect him again.”

If re-elected, Biden said she would continue focusing on three things: the US military and how to improve their lives; cancer and how the government can help families deal with the disease if diagnosed; and education.

“Education will always be a big part of my heart,” the first lady told Al Arabiya.

Life of the first lady

Biden recently returned from a trip where she visited three countries in the Middle East: Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

US first lady Jill Biden and her daughter Ashley Biden attend the royal wedding of Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan, June 1, 2023. (Reuters)
US first lady Jill Biden and her daughter Ashley Biden attend the royal wedding of Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein and Rajwa Al Saif, in Amman, Jordan, June 1, 2023. (Reuters)


Asked about the message she was carrying, the first lady said she hoped the people in the region felt a connection with the US.

“That’s very important to my husband, and I think very important when I go that I make a people-to-people connection, not a government-to-government one,” she said.

Being a teacher for over 38 years, Biden said one of the main reasons for her overseas trips was to look at education programs.

“I love to hear their stories, to see what they’re learning, because education is so important in every country of the world. Because education, I think, means economic empowerment in those countries,” Biden told Al Arabiya.

One of the challenges facing young people and women in the Arab world, she said, was mental health and skills issues.

US First Lady Jill Biden is greeted by Egypt's First Lady, Entissar Amer, on June 2, 2023. (Supplied)
US First Lady Jill Biden is greeted by Egypt's First Lady, Entissar Amer, on June 2, 2023. (Supplied)


And the US continues to partner with countries in the region to help provide the needed equipment and aid. “It’s to lift up young people and what they’re doing,” Biden said.

Despite widespread criticism of US foreign policy, specifically in the Middle East, the first lady said she only felt warmth from those she met in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.

On the domestic front, the first lady said she does not offer the president advice on US issues.

“A lot of times he travels to countries [has meetings] with the leaders of the country. So, I try to bring in the human element,” Biden said of her role during trips abroad.

First Lady Jill Biden attends a robotics and programming class at Ibn Al Arif high school during her visit to Marrakech, Morocco, Monday, June 5, 2023. (Reuters)
First Lady Jill Biden attends a robotics and programming class at Ibn Al Arif high school during her visit to Marrakech, Morocco, Monday, June 5, 2023. (Reuters)


Biden, who turned 72 earlier this month, continues to teach while balancing that with being a mother, grandmother and first lady.

“And I don’t know; I can’t give it up. You know, I couldn’t take one or the other. So, I found a way to marry them together, and so far, it’s worked,” she said.

Biden, the president, initially told the first lady it might be challenging to juggle teaching with the role of the first lady.

“Now he’s used to it by now. Because, like I said, I’ve been teaching for 38 years, so a long time. But he wants me to be happy, and I am happiest when I’m in the classroom.”

She has also started campaigning for her husband’s re-election.

“I’m looking forward to this campaign and another four years,” Biden said.

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