‘Meet the Press’ Debates Age Limit for Lawmakers: ‘You Know Who Never Criticizes Joe Biden on Age? Mitch McConnell’ (Video)

Host Chuck Todd proposed an age limit of 75 or 80 in the wake of McConnell’s on-camera incident


Following Mitch McConnell’s incident last week in which the Senate minority leader stopped speaking and stared off into space in front of cameras, Sunday’s panel on “Meet the Press” discussed the possibility of an age limit amendment to the constitution that would disqualify lawmakers from serving once they hit 75 or 80 years old.

“We have age minimums, which frankly are ridiculous, right? And the only way there’d be an age maximum is you’d have to make it a constitutional amendment, there’s no doubt in any legal scholar’s mind,” host Chuck Todd said to the panel. “Do you think there’d be momentum for that? You put it at 80, you apply it to the federal judiciary? Something tells me there could be bipartisan momentum for that.”

“I think there would be support for that, but yet all of us know somebody who has everything clicking at age 80,” panelist Amy Walter, editor-in-chief of the Cook Political Report, said before Todd interjected, “But they’re slower.”

Walter took his point, but argued that speed isn’t necessarily as vital for lawmakers as it is for airline pilots.

“Yes, they may be slower, but that’s different from flying an airplane,” Walter said. “I absolutely want somebody who’s flying an airplane to have everything clicking. Somebody who is sitting as a member of Congress, that’s a different category when you’re thinking about what your response rate is.”

Todd said that perhaps the 81-year-old McConnell merely returned to work too quickly after reportedly falling in July, then Washington Post Live anchor Leigh Ann Coldwell remarked that while Biden’s age is a specific target of criticism from many Republicans, there’s one prominent figure who’s never attacked it.

“You know who never criticizes Joe Biden [on] their age? Mitch McConnell.”

Elsewhere on “Meet the Press,” Todd asked Democratic Sen. Chris Coons about age limits, as well.  “I think the best test of whether or not someone is really capable of fulfilling their constitutional duty is an election,” Coons said. When pressed, he said McConnell “seemed fine” after his incident.

“I talked to minority leader McConnell after the incident this week when he froze in an interview, he seemed fine,” he said. Todd then asked whether he’s confident in McConnell and Coons replied, “I feel like he’s gonna continue to be the Republican leader through the rest of this Congress, and what happens after that I don’t know.”