DeSantis: Presidency ‘not a job for someone that’s 80 years old’

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday suggested President Biden and former President Donald Trump may be too old to serve in the White House, saying in a new interview the presidency is “not a job for someone that’s 80 years old.”

DeSantis, who is running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, told CBS News it’s justified for voters to have concerns about the age of presidential nominees.

“I think that’s absolutely a legitimate concern. The presidency’s not a job for someone that’s 80 years old, and there’s nothing wrong with being 80,” DeSantis said. “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 percent. We need an energetic president,” he continued. “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.”

Polling in recent months has shown large percentages of voters are concerned about Biden’s age in particular as he seeks a second term. The president is 80, and he would be 86 by the end of a potential second term.

The White House has pushed back hard against what they see as an unfair media fixation on Biden’s age, arguing he has proven he is capable of withstanding the rigors of the job on a day-to-day basis and has a strong record of accomplishments to show for it.

Trump, meanwhile, is the front-runner in the Republican primary and would be 82 at the end of a potential second term in the White House. Trump has said age should not be a determining factor for whether someone can serve, but voters should instead look at mental acuity and fitness for office.

An Associated Press-NORC poll conducted in late August found 77 percent of voters believe Biden is too old to serve another term, while just 51 percent felt the same about Trump.

DeSantis, who is 44, on Tuesday made the case that nominating a younger Republican to run against Biden in 2024 could be to the party’s advantage.

“If Biden’s the Democrat nominee, I’m the Republican nominee, I think there’s going to be a lot of Americans who are going to want to see a generational passing of the torch,” he said.

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary 2024 presidential election age AP-NORC poll CBS News Donald Trump Joe Biden mental acuity Ron DeSantis