Share
Commentary

Watch: Donald Trump Says Joe Biden Is Not 'Too Old' to Be President - Will Age Become a Factor?

Share

On at least one contentious issue, former President Donald Trump has come to President Joe Biden’s defense — sort of.

In a Thursday interview with Megyn Kelly, Trump opined that age alone should not disqualify Biden from seeking re-election.

Kelly noted that recent polling has shown that 77 percent of Americans consider Biden too old to serve a second term. She asked Trump if those Americans have it right.

“No, he’s not too old at all. He’s grossly incompetent,” Trump replied.

“You look at some of the great world leaders,” he continued. “I mean, Churchill, so many people — they were phenomenal in their 80s. … But if you go back 25 years, [Biden] wasn’t the sharpest tack.”

Trending:
Democratic Congresswoman Now Only Speaks Via AI-Generated Voice After Being Diagnosed With Rare Disease

Kelly grilled Trump on a number of subjects, including the effectiveness of his COVID response. On that topic, the stubborn former president continues to differ from the vast majority of his supporters.

Still, the Kelly-Trump interview has a feel-good element to it.

After all, Kelly once famously incurred Trump’s wrath for a question she posed during a 2015 Republican presidential primary debate. Trump responded to Kelly in a way that many found vicious.

Now, however, she and the former president have reconciled. “All that nonsense between us is under the bridge,” Kelly said on her podcast in August.

Meanwhile, the age question will remain a rare point of agreement between the two leading presidential candidates.

Is age a factor in the 2024 election?

Biden, who turns 81 on Nov. 20, already ranks as history’s oldest president. By January 2025, Trump will be 78, which would make him America’s second-oldest president should he win another term.

Last year, The Hill compiled a list of the 10 oldest presidents. Their tenures and fates lend some support to both sides of the age argument. On balance, though, the list reinforces Trump’s basic assertion.

Two of the 10 oldest presidents died in office.

Related:
RNC Speaker Praised Satanists for Helping 'a Lot of Women Get Abortions,' Is Proud Atheist

William Henry Harrison developed pneumonia at his March 4, 1841, inauguration and died exactly one month later. Zachary Taylor passed away on July 9, 1850, from gastroenteritis, though years later some suspected foul play.

On the other hand, the list includes early U.S. icons such as John Adams and Andrew Jackson. Whatever else one might say about Jackson, surely no one would accuse him of lacking vitality.

Likewise, two of the GOP’s most respected 20th-century presidents, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, appear on the list.

Reagan, in fact, dealt with the age question during his 1984 re-election campaign when he was 73.

At one presidential debate against Democratic nominee Walter Mondale, Reagan handled the question as only he could.

When panelist Henry Trewhitt asked the president if he worried about his stamina during, for instance, a serious foreign policy crisis that required long hours of intense concentration, Reagan delivered a legendary line:

“Not at all, Mr. Trewhitt. And I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

Raucous laughter ensued, including from Mondale.

Trump does not defuse questions with the same amicable dexterity, but he speaks the same truth.

Biden’s cognitive decline obviously has some relation to his age. That, however, does not make age the controlling factor.

As Trump noted, Biden showed buffoonish qualities even as a much younger man. Age, therefore, amounts to a secondary factor at best.

According to the Daily Mail, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis recently speculated that the Founding Fathers would have imposed an age limit on some offices had they anticipated such elderly leaders.

More likely, the Founders would have told us to listen to what a person says, watch how that person behaves, and then decide whether or not that person should hold public office.

After all — and forgive my skepticism here — I’m told we live in a democracy.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , , ,
Share
Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.
Michael Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in History and has taught at multiple colleges and universities. He has published one book and numerous essays on Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Early U.S. Republic. He loves dogs, baseball, and freedom. After meandering spiritually through most of early adulthood, he has rediscovered his faith in midlife and is eager to continue learning about it from the great Christian thinkers.




Conversation