Joe Biden said he invites comparisons with Donald Trump on their mental fitness, saying it’s a “legitimate question” given their ages, and that if elected, he is open to the possibility of seeking a second term.
“Watch me, Mr. President. Watch me,” Biden, 77, said in an interview withABC News to be broadcast Sunday night. “Look at us both. Look at us both, what we say, what we do, what we control, what we know, what kind of shape we’re in. Come on.”
Asked whether he was leaving open the possibility of serving two terms, Biden said, “Absolutely.”
Biden would be 78 on Inauguration Day, making him the oldest president ever to serve. The previous mark is held by Ronald Reagan, who was 77 when he left office. If Trump, 74, were to win a second term, he would surpass that mark.
Trump has made Biden’s fitness for office a central line of attack in his re-election campaign, calling the Democratic nominee “confused” and “diminished,” among other things.
Biden scoffed at those characterizations, according to excerpts released by the network before the broadcast. But he added, “Look, I think it’s a legitimate question to ask anybody over 70 years old whether or not they’re fit and whether they’re ready.”
The former vice president has described himself as a “transition” candidate to a younger generation of Democratic candidates. He said he would focus on grooming younger candidates for House and Senate races, even in states where Democrats haven’t traditionally done well.
“We haven’t spent nearly enough time building the bench in theDemocratic Party,” he said. “And that’s about raising people up. And that’s what I’m about.”
He said he didn’t feel pressure to name Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate because she’s a Black woman, but that “government should look like the people, look like the country.” Harris is the first Black and Indian-American woman on a major party presidential ticket.
“I cannot understand and fully appreciate what it means to walk in her shoes, to be an African-American woman, with Indian-American background, a child of immigrants,” he said. “She can’t assume exactly what it’s like to walk in my shoes. What we do know is we have the same value set.”
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