Former Vice President Mike Pence reacted to a pair of gaffes from former President Donald Trump on Sunday, as conversation around the age of the Republican and Democratic frontrunners ramps up.
Pence appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper on Sunday. Tapper pressed Pence to respond to two instances of Trump appearing confused during public events, asking whether the GOP frontrunner should be facing the same scrutiny as Biden.
Tapper played a clip of a speech in which Trump appeared to confuse former President Barack Obama and President Biden before launching into his question.
“In addition to seeming to have confused Obama and Biden, the president, the former president, also went on to say that re-electing Joe Biden would lead to World War II, which, of course, is a war that already happened,” Tapper said.
“If Joe Biden had made comments like that, Republicans would be all over it, talking about his age, his mental fitness, his sharpness, his acuity. The DeSantis camp has already tweeted that clip out. You have said that, in your view, Biden has lost a step. Do you think that 77-year-old Donald Trump has lost a step as well?” he asked.
“Well, I didn’t hear the speech, so I’d leave it to judgments of others,” Pence began. “But, look, I have said very clearly we don’t need a president who’s too old and we don’t need a president who’s too young. I’m in this race because I believe that I will bring the experience, the energy, and the commitment to a consistent conservative agenda that’s going to be necessary to turn around the failed policies of the Biden administration that have weakened us at home and abroad.”
“When Donald Trump ran for president in 2016, he promised to govern as a conservative. For four years, we did govern as conservatives, but, today, Donald Trump makes no such promise,” he added.
Biden, 80, is the oldest person ever to run for U.S. president, followed closely by Trump, 77. Trump himself came out against strict age limits in the U.S. on Sunday, but he did speak in favor of mental competency tests.
“You know, I took a test two years ago, three years ago. And as the doctors said – and it was in front of doctors and a whole big deal at Walter Reed, which is an incredible place. And I aced it. I get everything right. I’m all for testing. I frankly think testing would be a good thing,” Trump told NBC News on Sunday.
“[You] know, some of the greatest world leaders have been in their 80s. I’m not anywhere very near 80, by the way,” Trump claimed. “I don’t think Biden’s too old, but I think he’s incompetent, and that’s a bigger problem.”
Trump would turn 80 years old within 18 months of gaining office if he wins re-election. Meanwhile, Biden would be 82 at the start of his second term.