Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would not commit to serving only one term in office if elected president, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the oldest candidate in the race, said he disagrees with former President Barack Obama’s recent comments about old men needing to make way for women in politics.
Sanders, 78, was asked at the Dec. 19 Democrat presidential debate about Obama’s recent remarks about wanting women to be put in charge.
“If you look at the world and look at the problems, it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” Obama said.
“Well, I got a lot of respect for Barack Obama. I think I disagree with him on this one. Maybe a little self-serving, but I do disagree,” Sanders responded.
The self-described socialist said that it wasn’t a gender issue or a race issue but a class issue.
“Here is the issue. The issue is where power resides in America, and it’s not white or black or male or female. We are living in a nation increasingly becoming an oligarchy, where you have a handful of billionaires who spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and politicians,” he said.
“The issue is not old or young, male or female. The issue is working people standing up, taking on the billionaire class, and creating a government and economy that works for all, not just the 1 percent.”
A debate moderator then asked Biden, who is 77, whether he’d commit to one term in office.
“Just to follow up, Vice President Biden, if elected, if elected you would turn 82 at the end of your first term. You’d be the oldest president in American history,” the moderator said, prompting Biden to say: “More like Winston Churchhill.”
“Are you willing to commit tonight to running for a second term if you’re elected next November?” the moderator asked.
“No, I’m not willing to commit one way or another. Here’s the deal. I’m not even elected one term yet, and let’s see where we are. Let’s see what happens,” Biden said. “But it’s a nice thought.”
Biden was reportedly mulling committing to one term if he finds a strong running mate.
The oldest president elected to the White House was President Ronald Reagan, who was 73 years old when he won re-election. Churchill, who was prime minister of Britain during World War II, was 81 when he left office.
Biden would be 82 if he left after one term; Sanders would be 83. Either one would be the oldest person ever elected president.
Other top candidates are also septuagenarians. President Donald Trump is 73, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is 77, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is 70.