Former President Carter said there should be an age limit on the presidency, saying he could not have managed to serve in the world’s most powerful office at 80.
“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter, 94, said during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta, according to The Associated Press. “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.”
The remark came in response to a question about whether he would consider running for president in 2020 given that he served just one term.
Carter did not mention any specific candidate by name, but President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE is currently 73 years old, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighter jet escorts aircraft that entered restricted airspace during UN gathering Julian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy FBI investigating alleged assault on Fort Bliss soldier at Afghan refugee camp MORE would be 78 on inauguration day and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDon't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs MORE (I-Vt.) would be 79.
The comment comes amid an internal Democratic debate over whether concerns about a candidate’s age are fair game or ring of ageism. Particular focus has been paid on Biden, who has suffered from a string of gaffes and gives at times halting performances during speeches and debates.
“You have to be able to go from one subject to another and concentrate on each one adequately and then put them together in a comprehensive way, like I did between Begin and Sadat with the peace agreement,” Carter said, noting that a president has to “be very flexible with your mind,” particularly on foreign affairs.
Carter, who backed Sanders in 2016, has warned Democrats from veering too far to the left, citing issues like a single-payer health insurance platform as issues that could turn off voters who dislike Trump. However, he maintained he remains undecided as the 2020 primary heats up.
“I’m going to keep an open mind,” he said, adding the nominee should champion peace and human rights.
“One of the major factors I will have in my mind is who can beat Trump,” he added, though he said he would vote for whomever Democrats ultimately nominate.