Jimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency

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.”

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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 John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE is currently 73 years old, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Trump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans MORE would be 78 on inauguration day and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard moves to New Hampshire ahead of primary Sanders to join youth climate strikers in Iowa Saagar Enjeti unpacks why Kamala Harris's campaign didn't work 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.