ABC News has released more of its interview with Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for president, and Kamala Harris, the California senator who is now his VP pick.
Biden is 77 but will be 78 on inauguration day if he is elected, comfortably the oldest president ever inaugurated, taking the record from one Donald J Trump. If Biden ran again in 2024 he would be 82 at inauguration day, and 86 on handing over power four years after that. He has previously referred to himself as a transitional president in waiting, suggesting he may serve only one term if elected.
The current incumbent of the Oval Office, of course, was 70 when he took power in 2017 and has faced tough questions about his own health and mental ability. But that hasn’t stopped him questioning his challenger on the same grounds.
Asked about such attacks on ABC, Biden said: “Watch me. Mr President, watch me. 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.
“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. But I just, [the] only thing I can say to the American people, it’s a legitimate question to ask anybody. Watch me.
“We haven’t spent nearly enough time building the bench in the Democratic Party,” Biden added. “…So [what] I want to do is make sure when this is over, we have a new Senate, we won back statehouses, we’re in a position where we transition to a period of bringing people up to the visibility that they need to get to be able to lead nationally. And that’s about raising people up. And that’s what I’m about.”
The interviewer asked: “So you’re leaving open the possibility you’ll serve eight years if elected?
Biden replied: “Absolutely.”