White House infrastructure coordinator Mitch Landrieu dismissed questions about President Joe Biden’s age on Thursday while touting the extensive schedule the president has kept in order to promote the bipartisan infrastructure law.
“For those of you that think the president might be too old or doesn’t have enough energy or whatever it is that you all think,” Landrieu told a group of reporters. “This guy gets up early. He stays up late. We have made trips, if not every week, sometimes twice a week and three times a week. And we have done it over and over again and there’s nothing new here. What’s wonderful about it is how relentless that it is and how many places that we have been.”
“The guy is like, he’s a beast,” Landrieu later added. His comments came amid polls suggesting voters question Biden’s age and mental fitness. Biden is 80 years old and would be 86 at the end of a second term. His likely challenger, former President Donald Trump, is 77.
Landrieu was highlighting the progress the Biden administration has made implementing the infrastructure law ahead of the two-year anniversary of the bill’s signing next week.
According to the White House, the administration has distributed almost $400 billion in funding from the infrastructure law for over 40,000 projects across 4,500 different communities in the United States. It has also spurred over $600 billion in investment from the private sector, according to the administration. Landrieu said the individual projects would take between three and seven years to complete.
Landrieu said that the White House has been focused on three things over the past two years when it comes to implementing the $1.2 trillion law: building a team, getting the funds out the door, and telling the “story” of the legislation.
He acknowledged polls suggesting that voters don’t recognize the progress of the infrastructure law, but said he wasn’t surprised by it.
“It takes a long time for things to manifest themselves and if people can’t physically see them, then why would you expect them to?” he said.
Landrieu indicated the Biden administration would keep up its strategy of touting the infrastructure law, and suggested that Biden would eventually reap political benefits from it in 2024.
“I can’t talk about politics but I can talk about how elections are won and lost,” Landrieu said. “You have to have a story to tell. Some people tell stories that are not true. Some people make claims that can’t be verified. But this president will be able to bring the receipts chapter and verse, by date, by time, by place.”
“I feel very strongly that people will in short order know that he’s doing it,” he said. He said that history would look back on the Biden presidency as overseeing “the largest infrastructure investment in the history of the country.”
- An NBC News poll conducted in September found that 74% of registered voters say they have either major or moderate concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health.
- Landrieu is reportedly expected to leave his position by the end of the year, but he declined to comment on his future plans on Thursday.