Joe Biden's Irish cousin praises newly inaugurated president, 78, and hits out at 'nonsense'   claims that he's too old
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Joe Biden's Irish cousin praises newly inaugurated president, 78, and hits out at 'nonsense' claims that he's too old

OVER the past few years President Biden was lambasted for, among other things, his age, memory, and speech - all of which signalled that he was too old to be the US's Commander-in-Chief, if the critics are to be believed.

Well, not so according to Laurita Blewitt, the president's cousin from Co. Mayo, who, in fine Irish spirit, defended her kith and kin against criticism she deems "utter nonsense".

He has, after all, been a politician "practically all his life", Blewitt said in her appearance on This Morning today, where she also spoke proudly of his "strong Irish values".

Blewitt - who has met her cousin several times and even visited him at the White House - revealed some of Biden's ongoing struggles with speech that stem from childhood and still challenge him to this day.

The long-time politician has trouble speaking in public and must work hard not to "reintroduce" his stutter, she said.

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She also stressed that while politicians in Ireland and the UK tended to be younger than their American counterparts, it bears no reflection on their fitness for office.

"I think it's utter nonsense. American politicians are a lot older than we have in Ireland and the UK," Ms Blewitt said.

"Nancy Pelosi is 80 years of age, she is the speaker of the house. I don't think it's relevant.

"Joe has been a politician practically all his life, he was a senator since he was 29, he's served two terms as Vice President, he is very competent and a natural-born politician", she added.

Blewitt then laid the blame for a lot of the age-based criticism squarely on the shoulders of Bidens bullish opponent, the now former president, Donald Trump.

"I think it all came about because he was running against Donald Trump who was taking any opportunity to slag him off.

"Don't forget Joe Biden has overcome such adversity in his life. Firstly as a child being bullied for having a stammer and it has formed him", she said.

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In a touching anecdote that hits close to home, she recalled how, on a visit to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Ireland in 2017, her cousin had to 'space out' his sentences to avoid his stammer coming through when speaking in public. 

"I sat with him in the Jeep on the way to the speech and he was putting lines through all his sentence"”, Laurita said.

"I said 'What are you doing?'. He replied: 'Because I have a stammer, I have to space out my sentences to make sure my stutter doesn't get reintroduced again.' 

"When he stalls or stops people say he forgets what he's going to say, it's just cheap talk and its nasty."

With Biden having emerged victorious in a bitterly contested presidential race and armed with a comfortable mandate from millions of his fellow Americans, Laurita Blewitt may be right in thinking that her cousin isn't all that doddery after all.