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DeSantis says Trump, Biden not fit for presidency due to age

By Jake Beardslee · November 20, 2023

In brief…

  • DeSantis said Trump's verbal "accidents" show he is not the same candidate he was in 2016.
  • The governor predicted Democrats would strongly attack Trump's past if he is the 2024 nominee.
  • DeSantis has maintained an active campaign schedule, often with his family joining him.
  • He vowed to serve two terms and get the country "moving again."
DeSantis argued this weekend that Donald Trump and Joe Biden are too old for the presidency, while portraying himself as in his prime at age 45 and best positioned to defeat Biden in 2024.  Tom Williams/Wikimedia

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis suggested this weekend that both former President Donald Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden are too old for the presidency.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, the 45-year-old DeSantis told host Jake Tapper that “I just think that that’s something that has been shown with Joe Biden. Father Time is undefeated. Donald Trump is not exempt from any of that.”

Biden turns 81 on Monday, while Trump is currently 77. DeSantis argued that he is in the “prime of my life,” while Trump would be older upon taking office in 2025 than Biden was at the start of his term.

Age has become a key issue early on in the 2024 race. As he campaigns for the Republican nomination, Trump has regularly questioned Biden’s mental fitness and cognitive abilities. However, the former president has also experienced his own verbal missteps on the trail, which the DeSantis campaign has highlighted through an “accident tracker.”

Beyond age, DeSantis told Tapper that these “accidents” demonstrate Trump is no longer “the same guy” he was in 2016. When asked about Trump’s ability to defeat Biden in a general election, the Florida governor bluntly stated, “I wouldn’t be running unless I thought that the Democrats would beat Trump if he were the nominee.”

DeSantis predicted Democrats would wage “scorched earth” attacks on Trump’s past if he wins the Republican nod. He argued Biden could just “hang out in the basement” and coast to victory in that scenario.

The governor has kept an active schedule recently, often campaigning with his wife and young children. He told supporters Sunday, “I will serve two terms, deliver big results, and get the country moving again. That’s what Republican voters want to see.”