Presidential Zingers

6 June 2004

The Reagan FoundationHENRY TREWHITT: Mr. President, I want to raise an issue that I think has been lurking out there for two or three weeks, and cast it specifically in national security terms. You already are the oldest President in history, and some of your staff say you were tired after your most recent encounter with Mr. Mondale. I recall, yes, that President Kennedy, who had to go for days on end with very little sleep during the Cuba missile crisis. Is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances?

REAGAN: Not at all, Mr. Trewhitt and I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience. If I still have time, I might add, Mr. Trewhitt, I might add that it was Seneca or it was Cicero, I don’t know which, that said if it was not for the elders correcting the mistakes of the young, there would be no state.

TREWHITT: Mr. President, I’d like to head for the fence and try to catch that one before it goes over but – without going to another question…

Reagan-Mondale Debate
October 28, 1984

[Note: Ronald Reagan was 73 and Walter Mondale was 56 at the time.]

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