Sunny Hostin, a co-host of ABC’s “The View,” says she was dismayed by the reaction from the media and public following a verbal gaffe by President Biden this week when he asked if a congresswoman who died earlier this year was in attendance at the event where he was speaking.
“What it really shows is that this country is so ageist,” Hostin said on the popular daytime talk program Thursday. “This country has a problem with age. You know, you go to other countries and our elders are revered, they’re because of the knowledge that they have acquired.”
Biden on Wednesday afternoon turned heads and sent social media into a frenzy when he asked if Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who was killed in a car accident last month, was in the audience during an event at the White House Conference on Hunger.
“I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. [Jim] McGovern, Sen. [Mike] Braun, Sen. [Cory] Booker, Rep. … Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie?” Biden said.
The White House said hours later that Walorski had been “top of mind” at the event because she had worked on the initiative.
Many critics of the president’s age, primarily conservatives, seized on the episode, pointing to it as the latest example of what they have alleged to be the president’s declining mental state.
Biden, 79, has said he plans to run for president again in 2024 and would be the oldest person ever elected to the office if he were to win reelection.
“This is a man who has worked in government his entire life. This is a man who probably had a relationship with this woman and, yes, she probably was top of mind,” Hostin said. “I was thinking about my grandmother the other day and almost reached out to call her on the phone. She passed away five years ago. It could happen to anyone. And I think they need to stop weaponizing his age.”