POLITICS

Jimmy Carter Says Age 80 Would Have Been Too Old To Be President

“I hope there’s an age limit,” he joked, without mentioning that Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would turn 80 in office if elected.

Age is not just a number when you’re the leader of the free world, according to former President Jimmy Carter.

Carter, who turns 95 on Oct. 1, said Tuesday that managing the job of U.S. president even at age 80 would have been too demanding for him. (See the clip below.)

“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, the longest-lived U.S. leader, said during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “You had to be very flexible with your mind. 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.”

Carter’s remarks began on a light note when he was asked if he’d consider running for a second term. “I hope there’s an age limit,” he replied, laughing.

Carter did not mention that two of the leading Democratic 2020 candidates, former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 78, would turn 80 in office if elected.

President Donald Trump, 73, became the oldest newly elected president at 70 on his inauguration day.

Carter, who served one term from 1977 to 1981, spoke about the rigors of the presidency, noting his negotiation of a peace agreement 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, per The Associated Press. “At 95, it’s out of the question. I’m having a hard time walking.”

Carter also took a jab at Trump during the event in Atlanta, saying it would be a “disaster” if he got reelected in 2020.

“I don’t know who I will vote for, but I will vote for one of them,” Carter said of the Democratic presidential candidates. “I voted for Bernie [Sanders] the last time. But one of the major factors I have in my mind is who can beat Trump.”

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter accused Trump of fanning the flames of white supremacy with his rhetoric.

“I am so disturbed about white power,” she said. ”[Trump] says he is not a racist and maybe he is not. But some of the things he says encourages racism.”

The 39th president has spoken out against Trump in the past. In June, he claimed Trump’s presidency is “illegitimate” because “the Russians interfered” in the election on his behalf.

Hayley Miller contributed reporting.

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