Pete Buttigieg Rebukes Concerns Over Older Candidates: "Great Presidents Can Be Any Age"

CNN Democratic Debate Round 2 Part 1_Pete Buttigieg_Bernie Sanders - Getty - H 2019

Buttigieg and Sanders agree that presidency is a question of vision, not age.

During the second Democratic debate that took place Tuesday in Michigan, Detroit, the advanced age of prominent candidate Bernie Sanders was called out when the moderators, CNN's Dana Bash, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, asked the candidates whether voters should consider age when choosing a president. 

At 77, Vermont Sen. Sanders is the oldest of the 20 Democratic candidates running for the highest office (and four years older than President Trump). If elected to the oval office, he would surpass Trump as the oldest U.S. president ever to serve.

Responding to the question, Pete Buttigieg, who is the youngest candidate at 37, said, "I don't care how old you are, I care about your vision." He emphasized that great presidents can be any age, as long as they are backed by the right vision. 

Sanders agreed with Buttigieg that it is a question of vision. He explained some of his vision; that if Americans are going to fight for health care, we should not take money from drug and insurance companies. He also talked about his vision of student debt cancellation, saying, "We must cancel student debt because the younger generation will have a lower standard of living than their parents."

In the first Democratic debate, 38-year-old California representative Eric Swalwell recalled being 6 when he first saw fellow candidate Joe Biden, who is 76, speak, saying the former vp and senator was "right when he said it was time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans." Swalwell has since left the 2020 political race. 

The age of these candidates has also been called out in the late-night programming, such as when The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon donned a white wig to impersonate Sanders and referred to himself as "yelling" rather than "speaking." He also made fun of the way the older generation talks about social media, swapping "Twitter" for "Tweeter" and "Hashtag" for "Hashbrown."

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert has also impersonated Sanders on several occasions, once offering "a dream for this diverse nation to be led by an old white guy."