Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made a comment this week that seemed to take aim at both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump regarding age and fitness for office. DeSantis’ comments come as Biden, 80, is currently the oldest president in American history and may signal a more aggressive campaign approach against DeSantis’ rivals.
The Florida governor challenged the ability of either Biden or Trump, aged 77, to serve in office during an interview with CBS News. He called concerns regarding age an “absolutely legitimate concern.”
The 44-year-old governor said that the “presidency is not a job for someone that’s 80 years old, and there’s nothing wrong with being 80.”
“Obviously, I’m the governor of Florida,” DeSantis said. “I know a lot of people who are elderly — they’re great people — but you’re talking about a job where you need to give it 100%. You need, we need, an energetic president.”
Ron plays the Trump card: DeSantis, 44, suggests Biden, 80, and Trump, 77, are BOTH too old to become president and hints that he'd back age limits for Congressional lawmakers https://t.co/NfLUp72QlA pic.twitter.com/CN3HIkjpfb
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) September 12, 2023
The governor further said that should the Founding Fathers have had a chance to see modern life expectancy, “I do think they probably would have put an age limit on some of these offices.”
He cited leadership in Washington that is of advanced age. Among congressional leaders above the age of 70 are Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
DeSantis said, “if Biden’s the Democrat nominee, I’m the Republican nominee, I think there’s gonna be a lot of Americans that are going to want to see a generational passing of the torch.”
The Florida governor’s comments follow an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll last month found that a significant majority expressed concern about Biden’s age and ability to serve effectively in the White House.
According to the poll’s findings, 77% believed that Biden was too old to serve another term in the White House, including 69% of Democrats. A significantly lower figure believed Trump was too old to serve effectively in office.