Sep 18, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Jimmy Carter: I hope there's an age limit on presidency

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speaks during the symposium commemorating the 40th anniversary of the normalization of US-China relations at the Carter Center on January 18

Jimmy Carter. Photo: China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images

Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday he couldn't have managed the role of commander in chief at 80 years old — the age 2020 candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would turn while in office if they were elected.

What he's saying: "I hope there’s an age limit," Carter said with a laugh while answering audience questions during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta, AP reports. "If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president."

The things I faced in foreign affairs, I don’t think I could undertake them at 80 years old. At 95, it’s out of the question. I’m having a hard time walking."

Context: Per AP, Carter, who's due to celebrate his 95th birthday on Oct. 1, made the remarks in response to a light-hearted inquiry about whether he had considered running in 2020 since he’s still constitutionally allowed another term.

The big picture: As Axios' Jim VandeHei notes, every public poll shows the Democratic 2020 race is a 3-way brawl between 70-somethings who rose to prominence in the Senate.

  • Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are 76, 78 and 70, respectively. But as VandeHei points out, age doesn't dictate sensibility: Warren was an early blogger and is legendary on the selfies front.
  • The Democratic nominee will run against 73-year-old President Trump.

Go deeper: The Democrats' 3-way, 70-something race

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect the correct ages of the 2020 candidates.

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