Jon Stewart Took on Biden’s Age So Now He’s Being Called a Trump Supporter

In his first "The Daily Show" episode in eight years, Stewart pointed out how we have two of the oldest presidential candidates in history. Then everyone went crazy.

Jon Stewart Took on Biden’s Age So Now He’s Being Called a Trump Supporter

Jon Stewart hosted The Daily Show for the first time in almost eight years on Monday, and the beloved political satirist didn’t miss a beat. In his first episode, Stewart zeroed in on how President Biden, 81, and former President Trump, 77, are the two oldest presidential candidates in U.S. history. And, given the grave threat a second Trump presidency poses to, well, everything, Stewart drove home that instead of shielding Biden from criticism, that reality should make Biden more vulnerable to it. 

“Joe Biden isn’t Donald Trump. He hasn’t been indicted as many times, hasn’t had as many fraudulent businesses, or been convicted in a civil trial for sexual assault, or been ordered to pay defamation, have his charities disbanded, stiffed a shitton of blue-collar tradesmen he hired—should we even get to the pussy stuff?” Stewart said. “But the stakes of this election don’t make Donald Trump’s opponent less subject to scrutiny. It actually makes him more subject to scrutiny.” The segment also samples a series of clips of Democratic politicians emphatically praising Biden’s sharpness and leadership, which is all just very… weird! In one clip, Kamala Harris says she recently attended a meeting hosted by Biden in which the president was supposedly youthful and alert. “Did anyone… film that?” Stewart asks, referring to the alleged meeting.

Stewart’s segment was funny, smart, and spoke to a legitimate, high-stakes issue this presidential election cycle, which is Biden’s age. Polls have consistently shown it’s a top issue for voters—and a special counsel’s report last week that claims Biden doesn’t remember what years he was president or when his son Beau died has only further inflamed those anxieties. And yet, because everyone’s gone crazy, the overwhelming reaction to Stewart’s Monday night monologue across blue-wave Twitter is that Stewart is some sort of Trump supporter for raising questions that large swaths of the electorate—including many Democratic voters—are asking. Liberal commentators like Keith Olbermann and Kaivan Shroff called Stewart a “bothsidesist fraud,” accused him of “[minimizing] the stakes,” and inexplicably claimed Stewart is the one who looks old, even the same age as Biden, which…? No, not at all…???

But this sort of reaction is exactly in line with what top Democrats are saying to deflect from valid questions. On Monday night, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Biden is “very sharp” and “younger than I am” on CNN. (Welp, maybe you should both retire!) Meanwhile, it doesn’t exactly reassure skeptics when Biden declines to take a cognitive test as part of his upcoming physical.

Personally, Biden’s age has never been my biggest issue, even if I think we should all be at least vaguely concerned that our 81-year-old president seems to mix up world leaders. A lot of other Gen Z voters I know also don’t care too much about Biden’s age, at least compared to other issues with his presidency. But the problem is that voters, progressive organizers, and reliable members of the Democratic Party base who are necessary to stop Trump have lost faith in Biden for other reasons (reasons Biden can control, unlike his age)—namely how he’s handling Gaza, now that he’s helped Israeli forces kill at least 28,000 Palestinians including over 12,300 children. When this many people are disillusioned with Biden, who’s going to defend or stand by him amid all the skepticism about his age and cognitive abilities? Disapproval and disgust with Biden’s policies on Israel-Palestine and growing concern about his age go hand-in-hand. 

Having frank discussions about the basic reality that Biden is a bad candidate isn’t going to be what results in a second Trump term. Top Democrats’ choice to ignore all of this—the scrutiny about Biden’s abilities, the overwhelming demand for a ceasefire in Gaza, the disappointment with his policy record on… everything—is what’s going to cost them. After all, I repeat: Biden’s age has never been even close to my top issue with him. Maybe it’s not the top issue for the blue-wave liberals screaming up a storm all over Twitter, either. Fine! But when pretty much every poll shows serious concerns about this, Democrats are choosing to ignore this problem at their own peril. And, as we can glean from the internet’s reactions to Stewart’s Monday show, in their eyes, everyone but Biden will be to blame if Trump wins come November.

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