Youngest congressman, Maxwell Frost, says focus on Biden success, not age

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The country’s youngest congressman, Florida Democrat Maxwell Frost of Orlando, came to President Joe Biden’s defense a day after a damaging special counsel report and concerning press conference.

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The dayslong campaign by Democrats to defend President Joe Biden against a damaging special counsel report included the country’s youngest congressman, U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida.

Frost, an Orlando Democrat, said that instead of focusing on age, what’s more important is that the Biden administration is creating millions of jobs, working to bring inflation down and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

“We know. President Biden is old,” Frost said in a Biden-Harris 2024 campaign call. “But I see nothing but positivity because we’re looking at an agenda and we’re looking at a record that is positive.”

The goal of the conference call was to slam Donald Trump’s appearance before the National Rifle Association on Friday, but the participants fielded a number of questions about Biden and his age.

The focus on the octogenarian president followed a report issued last week by special counsel Robert Hur. The topic of the investigation was Biden’s possession, including while he was vice president, of government documents.

Hur concluded he would not seek charges against Biden. But in his report, he called the president a “sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” who is exhibiting “diminished faculties in advancing age” as well as other detrimental assessments.

Republicans, Biden critics pounce after special counsel report, Biden stumbles

The damaging language follows a series of episodes in which the president has confused current world leaders with previous and even deceased ones. In a speech in Jupiter last month, the president misspoke in saying his administration’s COVID policies had vaccinated “720 million” Americans, although the country’s population is well under half that number.

During a Thursday evening press conference at the White House, the president insisted his memory was “fine,” and then mixed up Egypt with Mexico in discussing the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

The day’s events unleashed a torrent of attacks and ridicule from Republicans and other critics.

Florida Congressman Greg Steube, a Republican from Sarasota, said the special counsel’s report essentially “admitted the President of the United States is too senile to prosecute.”

GOP U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who attended a Saturday evening gala for Trump at Mar-a-Lago, wrote on social media that “if Biden is too mentally incompetent to stand trial, then he is most definitely too mentally incompetent to be Commander-in-Chief!”

Youngest member of Congress vouches for Biden as poll shows young voter enthusiasm wanes

Frost was elected in 2022 as the first member of Gen Z on Capitol Hill.

He was a national organizing director for March for Our Lives, the gun-safety advocacy campaign launched after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School six years ago. He regularly speaks out on issues relevant to young voters, including climate change, abortion and gun violence prevention.

Frost’s defense of Biden is significant as Democrats seek to keep young voters in there ranks in a presidential election year in which Biden starts with a dismal 38% approval rating according to a Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet Research poll released Feb. 7.

Frost, who is 27 years old, said Biden’s presence on the ballot will help Democratic candidates because of his administration’s legislative and other successes.

The Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics released an analysis and poll of young voters in early December, and it reported that Biden has a solid lead by 11 percentage points among voters under 30 in a hypothetical rematch with Trump.

Yet relative to the 2020 election, the number of voters under 30 years of age who said they “definitely” planned to vote this year is down by 8 percentage points, from 57% to 49%.

Stephany Matat is a politics reporter for The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY-Florida network. Reach her at smatat@pbpost.com. Support local journalism: Subscribe today.

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