Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday took an apparent dig at President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump over their ages, saying the role of commander in chief “is not a job for someone that’s 80.”
Biden, the Democratic incumbent, would be 86 by the end of a potential second term, while Trump would be 82 by that time.
In a new interview, DeSantis said age is an “absolutely legitimate concern” for voters as we head into the 2024 presidential election cycle.
“The presidency is not a job for someone that’s 80 years old,” DeSantis told “CBS Evening News.”
DeSantis explained the position requires someone who can perform at 100%.
“We need an energetic president,” he said.
The Florida Republican added that he believes the Founding Fathers would have revisited the issue had they known of the aging country’s leadership and placed an age limit on many of those high-level positions within the government.
“I think Americans — if Biden’s the Democrat nominee, I’m the Republican nominee — I think there’s going to be a lot of Americans that are going to want to see a generational passing of the torch,” he said.
FIRST LOOK: @GovRonDeSantis tells @NorahODonnell, “The presidency isn't a job for someone that's 80 years old…I think there's going to be a lot of Americans that are going to want to see a generational passing of the torch.”
See the interview tonight on @CBSEveningNews at 6:30… pic.twitter.com/UibXUcXVch
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) September 12, 2023
DeSantis, 44, though, has so far failed to garner momentum nationally and in the Republican primary where he is trailing Trump, the GOP front-runner, by nearly 40 percentage points in an average of national polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight.
Still, while Biden has sought to embrace his age, even making jokes about it during appearances across the country, it remains an area of concern for Americans.
In a Wall Street Journal poll conducted last month, 73% of respondents said Biden is too old to run for reelection. Only 47% of respondents said Trump, who is just three years younger than Biden, is too old to launch a White House bid.
But Democrats have continued to stand behind Biden.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who was thought to have White House ambitions, dismissed those suggestions.
“The train has left the station,” Newsom told The New York Times. “We’re all in. Stop talking. He’s not going anywhere. It’s time for all of us to get on the train and buck up.”
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 83, who has announced she will seek reelection to her House seat next year, has also defended Biden despite the concerns about his age, predicting he will serve another term.
“You’ll see 15 months from now Joe Biden reelected as president of the United States with great pride,” she said.