Elon Musk has suggested that there should be a ban on politicians running for office over the age of 70, in a pointed barb at some of the nation’s top leaders.
Musk, who turned 50 this June, tweeted on Thursday: ‘Let’s set an age limit after which you can’t run for political office, perhaps a number just below 70 …’
The infamous provocateur, who with a $300 billion fortune is considered the richest man in history, did not elaborate on who he thought was too old.
Donald Trump, now 75, is said to be considering a 2024 run: he would be 78 on election day – a year older than Biden when he was elected president.
Elon Musk, 50, tweeted on Thursday that he believes there should be an age limit on running for office
Musk may well have been attacking Bernie Sanders, the 80-year-old Vermont senator with whom he has frequently disagreed on tax policy.
Sanders wants to raise taxes on the rich; the world’s richest man is unamused.
Also in Musk’s potential firing line is California Senator Dianne Feinstein, 88, the oldest lawmaker in Congress. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is also 88, but slightly younger than Feinstein.
On November 13, Sanders tweeted: ‘We must demand that the extremely wealthy pay their fair share. Period.’
Musk replied: ‘I keep forgetting that you’re still alive.’
Musk may have support for his suggestion from Barack Obama, who was 47 when he entered the White House – the fifth youngest to do so.
In 2017 Obama told a conference in Brazil: ‘I see in the U.S. Congress people who’ve been there 20, 30, 40 years.
‘And because they’re still there, they’re blocking the 25- or 30- or 35-year-old who is more of their time and could be more innovative and creative solving the problems we face today – rather than the problems we faced 35 years ago.’
Joe Biden, pictured on Thursday at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, is, at 79, the oldest president ever
Donald Trump, now 75, would be even older than Biden if he retakes the White House in 2024
Musk has tweeted insults at Bernie Sanders, 80
The Founding Fathers created minimum age requirements for serving in several roles. But they did not address a maximum.
To be elected to the House, you must be 25; to the Senate you must be 30. You cannot be elected president before the age of 35.
The military, law enforcement, commercial pilots, air traffic controllers and judges in some states have mandatory retirement after a certain age – usually 65.
Twenty-three members of the Senate are in their 70s; only one is under 40.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the average age of senators at the beginning of this year was 64.3 years — the oldest in history.
Dianne Feinstein, 88, is currently the oldest senator and has served for 28 years, being re-elected in 2018 to represent California
Musk turned 50 in June and is known for his provocative tweets
The oldest senator currently serving is Dianne Feinstein, 88, who has served for 28 years. She stepped down as chair of the Judiciary Committee in November, after what Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, called ‘a serious talk’ and questions about her memory.
Feinstein won a sixth term in 2018 when she was 85, easily defeating a more progressive candidate.
Yet Feinstein’s record is dwarfed by Strom Thurmond, the South Carolina senator, who retired in 2003 at the age of 100, after 48 years in the Senate.
In January, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and other Republicans introduced a bill calling for a constitutional amendment to limit senators to two six-year terms and House members to three two-year terms – but they did not set an age limit.