says he couldn’t manage presidency at 80
Published 6:52 AM EDT Sep 19, 2019
Speaking at the Carter Center in Atlanta, former President Jimmy Carter said he would not have been able to handle the rigors of the presidency at the age of 80.
Carter had been asked jokingly if he would run again in 2020, reported the Associated Press.
“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter replied with a laugh. “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.”
Carter didn’t mention by name any one particular candidate, but two of the leading Democratic candidates would be the oldest presidents in U.S. history on Inauguration Day and would turn 80 during their term if elected.
Former Vice President Joe Biden would be 78 when elected, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would be 79 on Inauguration Day.
“I’m going to vote for one of them, and I haven’t decided yet which one. I voted for Bernie Sanders last time,” Carter noted.
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Carter also wants a candidate to be able to handle major foreign affairs issues, given that one of his major accomplishments was the signing of the 1978 Camp David Accords between Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
“The things I faced in foreign affairs, I don’t think I could undertake them at 80 years old,” he said. “At 95, it’s out of the question. I’m having a hard time walking.”
Analysis: Why Julian Castro’s attack on Joe Biden’s age fell flat at Democratic debate
The debate over age has become an undercurrent of the Democratic primary as some of the younger candidates in the field have attempted to criticize the older candidates, with mixed results.
In one memorable moment of the first Democratic presidential debate, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told Biden to “pass the torch” to a younger generation of Democrats. Swalwell dropped out of the race not long after the debate.
And in the third Democratic debate, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro stumbled as he attempted to jab Biden for “forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” Castro appeared to have misrepresented the part of Biden’s health care plan as he criticized it.
Biden still leads the Democratic field in most polling, though.
“I’m going to keep an open mind,” Carter said of the state of the primary, citing the ability to beat Trump as one of his major concerns.