Former President Donald Trump, the oldest candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential field, said there should be no age limit for the presidency but expressed support for requiring mental competency testing for candidates.
“I’m all for testing,” Trump told NBC’s Kristen Welker in an interview clip that aired Saturday, citing a cognitive test he took in 2020 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. “I got over it. “I understand everything well.”
But the 77-year-old former president questioned the viability of requiring such testing, adding: “Many people say it is not constitutional to do so.”
Trump’s comments came as he significantly leads the Republican presidential field to take on President Joe Biden, who will be 80 in 2024.
Asked if a new generation needs to take over, Trump said: “It’s always time for a new generation.” But, he added, “some of the greatest world leaders have been 80 years old,” although the 77-year-old former president quickly clarified that “by the way, he’s not very close to 80.”
The ages of the incumbent and the GOP front-runner have raised questions about whether they are fit for office, and other presidential candidates have used the issue to argue that they will not be effective leaders.
But Trump said the problem with his predecessor is “bigger” than his age. “I don’t think Biden is too old, but I think he’s incompetent,” Trump said. “And that is a bigger problem.”
Biden, who would be 82 at the start of his next term if re-elected, has also downplayed concerns about his age in recent months. When asked why an 82-year-old would be the best choice for president, Biden told MSNBC in May that he had “gained a ton of knowledge.”
“I have more experience than anyone who has ever run for office,” Biden said then, adding that he believes he has proven effective.
However, a recent CNN poll showed that about three-quarters of Americans say they are seriously concerned that Biden’s age could negatively impact his current level of physical and mental competence and his ability to serve another term if he is re-elected.
Trump’s full interview with NBC’s Welker will air Sunday morning on “Meet the Press.”
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Source: La Opinion