- Ronald Reagan became the oldest president when he took office at age 69.
- Donald Trump and Joe Biden broke that record with their respective ages of 70 and 78 when they were sworn in.
- Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis thinks cognitive testing for older candidates is a ‘good idea’
Ronald Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, believes that older presidential candidates should be administered cognitive tests.
President Reagan was 69 years old when he took office in 1981, making him the oldest president in United States history at the time. He left office after two terms at the age of 77.
But the last two American presidents have surpassed Reagan’s record.
Donald Trump was 70 years old when he was sworn in in January 2017 and Joe Biden was 78 years old when he took office.
Now politicians, rivals and critics are calling for higher requirements for older candidates to ensure they are mentally fit to serve as chief executive. This includes 2024 hopeful Nikki Haley, 52, who believes politicians age 75 and older should be required to take a cognitive test.
Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis said it would be a “good idea” to impose cognitive tests on elderly presidential candidates
Ronald Reagan was the oldest president in American history at the time of taking office: he was 69 years old when he took office. The late president is pictured with his wife Nancy Reagan after taking the oath of office on January 20, 1981.
Arguments in favor of the requirement grew after Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur released a damning report this month that questioned Biden’s “poor memory” and his “diminished faculties with advancing age.”
Hur noted that Biden forgot the dates he was vice president, as well as the dates his son Beau died.
Davis, 71, told NBC Meet the Press host Kristen Welker that her father’s age when he left office now seems young.
‘The president is over 80 years old, former President Trump, the favorite, is over 70 years old. Do you think there should be cognitive tests for people running for the highest office in the country? Welker asked Davis in an interview Sunday morning.
“Probably,” Reagan’s daughter said. ‘I mean, in what we know about what age can do. This isn’t always the case, but it would probably be a good idea.
“My father was 77 years old when he left office after two terms,” he added. “He looks very young now, doesn’t he?”
If Biden were to win a second term, he would end his eight years in office at the age of 86.
Trump, if he wins a second non-consecutive term in 2024, would end his presidential career at age 82.
President Joe Biden is the oldest president in American history. He was 78 at the time of his inauguration (pictured) and would be 86 at the end of a second term if he wins re-election in 2024.
While Republicans often point to Reagan as an inspiration, Davis says his late father would not recognize or approve of the current political landscape.
“I wonder if you could reflect on current politics,” Welker asked Davis. —What do you think your father would say about our current state of politics?
“I think he’d be horrified, really, you know?” Davis said of Reagan, who was president from 1981 to 1989.
“It was just more civilized,” he said of the political world of yesteryear. And he didn’t understand incivility. He didn’t understand attacking another person.
“I mean, he could be pretty direct in what he would say about someone else,” the actress and author added about her father. But he didn’t understand cruelty. And that’s what we’re facing now.”
‘I don’t think he would understand. I think he would be really scared for our democracy.”