President Donald Trump tweeted an image Tuesday of his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, edited on to the body of an elderly person sitting in a wheelchair, endorsing him for “Resident” of a retirement home.
The image showed a room full of elderly wheelchair users with Biden’s face superimposed on one of them. Biden is 77, Trump is 74.
Despite being only a few years apart, Trump and his campaign have invested big in trying to cast Biden as too old for the job. Trump has repeatedly called him “sleepy” and “stupid.” He’s seized on the former vice president’s speech issues and gaffes to claim he has dementia.
Trump has been hemorrhaging support from senior voters in the polls, due in part to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which carries higher risks for older people. Trump had a 9-percentage-point advantage with voters 65 and older in the 2016 election against Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to the Pew Research Center, but numerous polls now indicate Biden leads Trump with that group three weeks ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
HuffPost has reached out to the Biden campaign for comment on Trump’s tweet.
“To Donald Trump, it’s simple, not a joke, you’re expendable. You’re forgettable. You’re virtually nobody. That’s how he sees seniors. That’s how he sees you,” Biden said.
The Trump camp has courted seniors with an eight-figure ad campaign in swing states. Last week, Trump tweeted a rambling video addressed to “my favorite people in the world, the seniors,” promising them a free COVID-19 “cure.”
While some Trump supporters appeared to find the president’s tweet funny, critics piled on. Some called it ageist, and others said it was a strange move for a candidate to further alienate a voting demographic whose support he has been losing.