Sep 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis: Biden and Trump ages "absolutely a legitimate concern"

Republican presidential candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pauses during a break in the first debate of the GOP primary season hosted by FOX News at the Fiserv Forum on August 23, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during the first GOP primary debate at the Fiserv Forum on Aug. 23 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday during an interview with CBS Evening News that the ages of former President Trump and President Biden are "absolutely a legitimate concern" for voters.

Why it matters: Biden's age, 80, has emerged as a central concern for voters in the 2024 race. DeSantis, 44, has sought to present himself as the younger alternative to Trump, who is 77.

  • "The presidency's not a job for someone that's 80 years old," DeSantis said during the interview.
  • "If Biden's the Democratic nominee, I'm the Republican nominee, I think there's gonna be a lot of Americans that are gonna wanna see a generational passing of the torch," he said.

The big picture: 77% of adults think Biden is too old to effectively serve for four more years, according to a AP-NORC poll from last month.

  • Just over half of all adults think that Trump is too old to effectively serve another term, per the same poll.
  • Biden, the oldest sitting president, would be 86 at the end of a second term. He's leaned into his age and increasingly joked about it.
  • Spokespeople for the campaigns of Biden and Trump did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

What he's saying: "Obviously, I'm the governor of Florida, 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%, we need an energetic president," DeSantis said.

  • "I think that if the Founders could kind of look at this again, I do think they probably would've put an age limit on some of these offices."

Go deeper: America's aging leaders on display

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