Ron DeSandis said he believes both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are too old to lead the country as the president celebrates his 81st birthday today.
Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, the Florida governor and 2024 candidate argued that he is in the “prime of my life” while his two rivals are far from it.
“I just think that's something that's been proven with Joe Biden. Father Time is invincible. Donald Trump is not exempt from any of this,” he said.
DeSantis, 45, said running the White House “is not a job for someone in their 80s.”
“I will serve two terms, deliver big results and get the country moving again,” he told CNN.
“That's what Republican voters want to see.”
He added that if Trump returns to office in 2025, he would actually be older than Biden was when he began his term in 2021.
Age has become a major talking point among presidential candidates, as well as American voters, as the nation prepares for the 2024 race.
Biden turned 81 on Monday and faces growing questions about his ability to see out a second term.
The president has taken several falls on stage and made repeated gaffes at public events – something his 2020 rival Mr Trump has seized on, calling him “Sleepy Joe” and claiming he lacks the mental capacity to lead the US.
But Mr Trump is also 77 and has also faced questions about his health – following a series of similarly outlandish gaffes and off-the-cuff remarks.
During his time in office, the former president – who is said to live on 12 Diet Cokes a day – faced a serious health scare when he was hospitalized for Covid-19.
Their ages aside, Mr. DeSantis told Tapper that he believes Mr. Biden will defeat Mr. Trump if the nation sees a rematch in 2020.
“I wouldn't run if I didn't think the Democrats would beat Trump if he ran,” he said, adding that Mr. Trump would face a Democratic whipping if he became the GOP nominee.
“You will see scorched earth. You will see all these things coming out of the past,” he said.
“The whole election is going to end up being a referendum on Donald Trump and Biden is going to be able to hang out in the basement and I think he's going to be able to get away with it again.”
Mr. DeSantis was once touted as the GOP's favorite 2024 candidate, but he has trailed Mr. Trump in the polls for months — despite the former president facing nearly 100 charges in four criminal cases.