President Joe Biden, America’s oldest president in history, unexpectedly received support from former President Donald Trump. Trump said his Democrat rival was “not too old” to seek a second term but quickly added, “I think he’s incompetent.”
The comments by the former president, made in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday, come as the U.S. faces a serious debate over the aging of its political leaders, which is a crucial factor ahead of the 2024 elections. Biden will be just shy of 82, and Trump will be 78.
The former president said he would support mental competency tests for candidates but didn’t support age limits.
“I’m all for the tests,” said Trump to NBC’s Kristen Welker, and cited a cognitive test he took at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2020. “I aced it. I get everything right.”
Recent surveys show that although the age gap between the two men is small, Americans are more worried about Biden’s age, with one poll finding three in four people doubt his ability to last through a second term.
Although former President Trump ended his term in office as the second-oldest president (Ronald Reagan was 77 at the end of his second term), he didn’t let it paint it as a challenge as he has frequently portrayed the current president as too “sleepy” to do the job.
“Some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s,” Trump told NBC. “I’m not anywhere near 80, by the way.”
“And Biden’s not too old,” added Trump. “But I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem.”
President Biden has often been caught in exaggerations, mistruths, and verbal stumbles.
Democrats also claim he is physically fit, as he rides and exercises on a bike.
They also say he is mentally competent after having overseen the passage of significant legislation, including a vast infrastructure, the Build Back Better social spending program, and the most substantial gun safety bill in several decades.
President has tried to remain active on the international stage
The president has also been active on the international stage. During his recently-ended trip to Vietnam, which analysts confirm was partially set up to highlight his vigor, the country’s Communist leader, who is 79, complimented Biden on his youth.
For his part, Trump has gotten almost all positive marks during his annual physicals, although he has been deemed overweight and doesn’t exercise except for golf. Like President Biden, he also doesn’t drink.
In the NBC interview, Biden said his age doesn’t concern him and noted both of his parents had long lives.
“So genetically, that’s a good thing.”
Trump’s insistence that he is competent was ridiculed when he ran his 2020 presidential campaign and said he scored an “amazing” result on his mental acuity test.
He stated he had to remember the words “Person, woman, man, camera, TV” in order.
His repeated and proud repetition of the words was mocked by his political rivals and ended up going viral on social media.
In an apparent reference to his test in the NBC interview, the former president said, “I aced it. I got everything right.”