'Two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame': US can do better than Trump or Biden as president, says Jon Sopel

24 January 2024, 10:02 | Updated: 24 January 2024, 10:10

The News Agents' Jon Sopel says 'we should be scared' about the outcome of the upcoming presidential race

By Kit Heren

America "can do better" than either Donald Trump or Joe Biden as its president, Jon Sopel has said.

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Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast after Mr Trump won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night, Global's Jon Sopel said the Republican's likely race with Joe Biden for the White House was like "two old men fighting over a Zimmer frame."

Jon added that "the only difference is that this Zimmer frame has a red button on it, which can cause nuclear Armageddon.

"Should we be scared? Yeah, we should be scared that this could be who is leading the free world, as we like to call it."

Mr Trump will be 78 by the time of the November election, while Joe Biden will be weeks away from his 82nd birthday.

Read more: Donald Trump storms to victory in New Hampshire primary: What happens next?

Read more: ‘Who the hell was that imposter?’: Trump blasts sole Republican rival Nikki Haley for ‘hanging around’ after defeat

Trump won the New Hampshire primary
Trump won the New Hampshire primary. Picture: Getty

New Hampshire was the second primary win for Mr Trump in consecutive weeks after he outpaced Ron DeSantis in Iowa.

The former president is the clear favourite to secure the Republican nomination for the election.

Jon, the host of Global's The News Agents USA podcast, said that Mr Trump has "a powerful grip on the Republican Party, adding that he "operates by terror", and "people are frightened" of him.

He added that "senior Republicans who think 'well, maybe I could have a go at it, I just don't want to get in the race'.

"And so you've been left with people who aren't that great."

Joe Biden is expected to be the Democrat nominee, although Jon said there was a chance he could drop out later this year.

Joe Biden
Joe Biden. Picture: Getty

Jon, a long-time former US correspondent, said that Mr Biden "thinks and maybe he's right, that if anyone's going to fight Donald Trump, I'm the best-placed to do it. They don't like his vice president Kamala Harris.

"There are a number of other governors and senators who think well, maybe I could have a crack at it.

He added that "there is a remote possibility... that it won't be Trump versus Biden in November, that something will happen.

"I mean, both of them are quite old, both of them are not exactly in the fittest state, both of them have got some pressures on them."

He said, citing a source in Washington, that the only person who could tell Mr Biden to step down was Jill Biden, his wife. "The problem there is Jill Biden really likes being First Lady, so she's not ever so keen for him to step down."

American diplomat tells Nick that a Trump presidency will bring 'uncertainty'

Jon said that the main issue was likely to be voter apathy: "Can I be bothered to vote for either of them?"

He added: "The biggest issue, I think, in the coming election in November, if it is, Biden versus Trump is not going to be so much Biden versus Trump, it's going to be Biden versus the sofa, or Trump versus the sofa."

Mr Trump has been criticised widely for his offensive comments about women, and suffered a down-turn in his female vote share in the 2020 election, which he lost.

Jon said that he expected Mr Trump to choose a woman as his vice-presidential candidate this year, although it was unlikely to be Ms Haley, given his recent criticism of her.

Mr Trump has also come under fire for his isolationist, 'America-first' attitude - but this is part of his appeal to his base, Jon said.

He told a caller: that America is a "huge country, 3000 miles across. And there is an awful lot of the time that they just want the outside world to go away.

"So when they see things that are happening in Ukraine, in the Middle East, in the Balkans, wherever it happens to be, there is a sizeable chunk of Americans who will always say: 'What has this got to do with me?'"