During a presidential debate in 1984, Ronald Reagan was reminded that he was the “oldest president in history.” At the time, he was 73.
The host also referenced President Kennedy’s lack of sleep to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to question whether or not Reagan’s age would affect his work as commander-in-chief.
“Is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances?” the host asked Reagan.
That certainly is a tough question, but Reagan didn’t seem to think so.
The 40th president — who is remembered as the “great communicator” and for his great sense of humor — gave a response that became one of the greatest moments in debate history. It’s a moment that’s hard to forget, much like his Inaugural Address in 1981.
“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,” he quipped.
Reagan’s memorable response even made his younger Democratic opponent, Walter Mondale, laugh. The audience also joined in uncontrollably.
But President Reagan’s cleverness didn’t stop there — wait til you hear what the late President added right after he took a sip of water…
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