The recent GOP debate once again brought the question of age to the fore once again. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley once again mentioned age as the reason she decided to challenge former President Donald Trump’s bid for a non-consecutive second term.
“Yes, I said I wouldn’t run against him, but it was before we had the fall in Afghanistan before we saw inflation go through the roof. It was before we lost the mid-terms … We cannot win the issues and fights of the 21st century if we continue to use politicians of the 20th century,” Haley said.
Haley has made age a campaign issue. Last February she stated that a maximum age was needed for presidential candidates. “In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” she said. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Trump Slammed for Gaffes
Recent gaffes by the former president have brought his age into focus just as Joe Biden’s gaffes have raised similar questions. The DeSantis campaign nailed Trump for confusing Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un in a speech earlier this week.
“Trump skipped last night’s debate — instead opting for public humiliation. His Miami rally was so low energy that hordes of people were seen leaving early, before Trump even finished speaking. The accident tracker remains at 0 after Trump confused Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un,” the DeSantis War Room said in a post on X.
Trump claimed that Kim Jong Un leads “1.4 billion people and there is no doubt who the boss is.” North Korea’s actual population is 26 million. He clearly should know better considering that he is the only sitting president to have ever met the North Korean dictator.
In September, Trump said that Joe Biden wanted to get America into “World War II” when he meant World War III.
“We have a man who is totally corrupt and the worst president in the history of our country, who is cognitively impaired, in no condition to lead, and who is now in charge of dealing with Russia and possible nuclear war,” Trump said. “Just think of it. We would be in World War II very quickly if we’re going to be relying on this man.”
Trump has made Biden’s age a campaign issue, calling him “Sleepy Joe” and claiming on Truth Social about his superior mental attributes. Both Trump and Biden will be over age 80 at the end of the next term in 2029. Biden will be 86 and Trump will be 82.
Polls: Voters More Concerned About Biden Age Than Trump’s
A Wall Street Journal poll found that 73 percent think Biden is too old for a second term, while 47 percent feel the same. A New York Times/Siena College poll showed that 70 percent think Biden is too old and 47 percent say the same about Trump.
Biden’s comments about Vladimir Putin invading Iraq in June along with those suggesting that it was possible to build a railroad across the ocean similarly caused concern about his cognitive abilities.
“We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean,” Biden said at the League of Conservation Voters’ June 14 dinner. “I’m going off script, I’m going to get in trouble.”
Then there is the issue of Biden’s multiple falls and frequent confusion. On the other hand, neither party’s electorate seems intent on replacing its respective likely nominee with someone younger.
For all of the consternation over age, no one younger has a shot at the nomination.
John Rossomando is a defense and counterterrorism analyst and served as Senior Analyst for Counterterrorism at The Investigative Project on Terrorism for eight years. His work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, The National Interest, National Review Online, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award for his reporting.