Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has had nothing but trouble when it comes to gaining traction for his 2024 White House run, and over the weekend, he attempted a new line of argument against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, suggesting that his rival for the Republican nod is simply too old for the job he is seeking, as Breitbart reports.
DeSantis' remarks came during a Sunday appearance on CNN's State of the Union when he engaged in a discussion about the current state of the presidential race with host Jake Tapper.
Governor's new tack
Tapper asked DeSantis to elaborate on his seemingly new approach to the former president, saying, “Your campaign keeps a running list and keeps tweeting a running list of Donald Trump's fumbles and accidents and confused moments, that's what they call them, saying this is why his handlers won't let him debate, noting times that Trump has forgot what state he is in, times he has confused Biden and Obama, confused Kristi Noem and on and on.”
“What do you think about Donald Trump's mental fitness? Do you think he's too old to be president?” Tapper inquired.
The governor did not hold back, replying, “I have said publicly the president is not a job for an 80-year-old. Donald Trump will be older in July 2025 than Biden was in January 2021.”
“But this is not the same guy as the Trump in 2015 and '16. That guy would show up on the debate stage, he would barnstorm,” DeSantis continued. “Yes, he was off-color, he was edgy, but it was all part of an idea that he was really going to shake things up.”
Piling on even further, DeSantis added, “Now he's wedded to the teleprompter, he's not willing to debate, and he's running on many of the same things he promised to do in 2016 and didn't deliver.”
Offering Joe Biden as an example, DeSantis asserted “Father time is undefeated” and declared, “Donald Trump is not exempt from any of that. I think with somebody like me, you go in, I'm in the prime of my life, I'll go in day one, serve two terms, deliver big results and get the country moving again.”
Try as he might to paint a picture of Trump as a doddering old man in decline, voters seem to have a vastly different perception, at least according to an NBC News report from September.
Though polls have shown serious concern among the electorate about Biden's advanced age and apparent cognitive decline, far fewer Americans seem to worry when it comes to Trump's mental agility or physical vigor.
An undecided voter from Iowa declared simply, “Trump just comes off as a much younger person. Just the way he speaks, the way he walks. Just everything he does.”
A 57-year-old independent voter from New Hampshire described Trump as “blessed with that ability to – like a Mick Jagger, like he'll be young forever,” and this attempt by DeSantis to portray him as a foggy and confused senior citizen runs the risk of coming across as the desperate flailing of a faltering campaign.