Former President Donald Trump pushed back on age comparisons likening him to President Joe Biden by addressing the “bigger problem.”
“I don’t think Biden’s too old.”
(Video: NBC News)
As NBC News passed the torch of “Meet the Press” from Chuck Todd to Kristen Welker, the new host featured Trump as her premier guest. In a wide-ranging interview set to debut Sunday, the matter of fitness for office was once again broached.
“What do you make of the age issue? Should their be an age to running for president?” wondered Welker.
“No, but there should be a competency — I’m all for the test,” replied Trump. “You know, I took a test two years ago, three years ago. And as the doctors said — and it was in front of doctors and a whole big deal at Walter Reed, which is an incredible place — and I aced it. I get everything right. I’m all for testing. I frankly think testing would be a good thing.”
“A lot of people say it’s not constitutional to do it. But I would be for testing, to test to make sure everyone’s just fine. But a lot of people say that can’t happen because of the Constitution,” he continued.
When the host presented the belief from some that it was time for a new crop of leaders, the president responded, “Well it’s always time for a new generation. But, you know some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s.”
“I’m not anywhere very near 80, by the way,” argued the 77-year-old Trump before turning to his 80-year-old Democratic rival. “And Biden’s not too old. I don’t think Biden’s too old. But I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem.”
The responses from the once commander-in-chief were similar to those offered to podcast host Megyn Kelly when the pair had sat down for a recent interview. She had referred to recent polls from the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press that sought opinions on both Trump and Biden where a greater majority found concern with the latter than the former.
“Age is interesting because some people are very sharp and some people do lose it — but you lose it at 40 and 50,” remarked the president to Kelly. “He’s not too old at all. He’s grossly incompetent.”
“You look at some of the great world leaders — they were in their 80s. They were phenomenal in their 80s. There’s a great wisdom if you’re not in a position like [Biden], but if you go back 25 years, he wasn’t the sharpest tack, either,” added Trump.
Talking heads on the left have increasingly turned to attacking the GOP frontrunner over his cognitive function as that of Biden has only grown more difficult to disregard. An example came following remarks from Trump in Washington, D.C. Friday where at one point he had warned about current foreign policy positions drawing the United States closer to “World War II” rather than “World War III.”
Pundits “pounced” at the gaffe with one calling out, “This is why the ‘Biden’s age — only Biden’s age, not Trump’s for some reason — is a problem!’ coverage is so laughable. Look, if someone wants to say they both have mashed potatoes for brains, go for it, but spare me the ‘Trump is super fit! stuff.”
This is why the “Biden’s age — only Biden’s age, not Trump’s for some reason — is a problem!” coverage is so laughable. Look, if someone wants to say they both have mashed potatoes for brains, go for it, but spare me the “Trump is super fit!” stuff. https://t.co/XBStjFlMPh
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) September 16, 2023
Fitness for office had also been called out recently by Trump’s leading opponent for the 2024 Republican presidential primary, 45-year-old Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
When the governor had been asked to opine on the issue, he referred to it as an “absolutely legitimate concern” and asserted “The presidency’s not a job for someone that’s 80 years old!”
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 13, 2023
“And there’s nothing wrong with being 80, obviously. I’m the governor of Florida. I know a lot of people who are elderly, they’re great people,” he explained. “But you’re talking about a job where you need to give it 100 percent. We need an energetic president. And I think that if the founders could kind of look at this again, I do think they probably would have put an age limit on some of these offices.”
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