AP

SC Democrat seeks age limit for ‘geriatric’ politicians

Jun 22, 2022, 3:13 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 8:53 pm
FILE (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)...
FILE (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Joe Cunningham is proposing an age limit for South Carolina politicians — a cap that would cut off the 75-year-old incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster — and making a veiled argument that even fellow Democrats like President Joe Biden are staying “in office way past their prime.”

“Our country and our state are being run by a geriatric oligarchy, people who stay in office way past their prime,” Cunningham says in a campaign video, provided Wednesday to The Associated Press ahead of its public release.

“Some of these folks have been clinging onto power for 30, 40, even 50 years,” Cunningham says. “The folks who are making a career out of politics are making a mess of our country.”

Cunningham proposes instituting a 72-year-old age limit for South Carolina politicians, a retirement bar already in effect for the state’s judges, and one that would take a constitutional amendment, approved by voters, to implement. South Carolina currently requires judges to retire officially at age 72, although jurists are allowed to stay on the bench in a fill-in capacity beyond that age limit.

Cunningham ends the two-minute video by making a bipartisan appeal for support from those who may have previously voted for Biden, former President Donald Trump, or McMaster “sometime in the last 40 years.”

Cunningham, who recently turned 40, has frequently jabbed at McMaster’s age, arguing that the Republican — who has served in a variety of public roles including lieutenant governor, U.S. attorney and South Carolina attorney general, for the majority of the past four decades — has “been in politics longer than I’ve been alive.”

But Cunningham’s campaign wouldn’t answer questions Wednesday about whether the Democrat would argue that Biden — who has supported Cunningham since his 2018 run for Congress — is too old to serve.

When he took office last year at age 78, Biden was sworn in as the oldest president in the nation’s history, displacing Ronald Reagan, who left the White House in 1989 when he was 77 years and 349 days old. According to an AP-NORC survey conducted in January, more than three-quarters of Democrats said they felt confident that Biden “has the mental capability to serve effectively as president” or “is healthy enough to serve effectively as president.” However, 8 in 10 Republicans do not have much or any confidence in either his physical health or mental capacity.

Republicans including U.S. Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, have called on Biden to resign, calling him “incoherent, incapacitated and confused.” Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — who served the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador — proposed “some sort of cognitive test” for aging politicians, following a series of gaffes by Biden.

McMaster campaign manager Mark Knoop told the AP that South Carolina had benefited from “the leadership, hard work and ingenuity of people of all ages and backgrounds” and called Cunningham’s notion “an insult to every senior in this state.”

In the video, Cunningham also floats ending South Carolina’s income tax — a practice already undertaken in a handful of other states — “to keep more money in your pocket.”

Cunningham, who served one term in the U.S. House before losing his 2020 reelection bid to Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, won a five-way primary June 14 to secure South Carolina’s gubernatorial nomination. McMaster defeated his primary opponent

___

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

A sunken World War II-Era Higgins landing craft that used to be nearly 200 feet underwater is being...
Associated Press

World War II-era boat emerges from shrinking Lake Mead

A sunken boat dating back to World War II is the latest object to emerge from a shrinking reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona.
1 day ago
CUSCO, PERU - MAY 23: A view over the city of Cusco from the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman on May 23, ...
FRANLIN BRICEÑO Associated Press

Peru home build vexed by ‘the neighbors’ — Inca-era mummies

Hipólito Tica had saved for decades to finally build himself a proper house in a working class neighborhood of Lima. His problem was what to do about “the neighbors” — as he called the centuries-old mummies buried below.
1 day ago
Japanese musician Takeshi (L) and Canadian musician Randy Bachman (R) exchange guitars on July 01, ...
MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press

Rock star Randy Bachman reunited with beloved stolen guitar

Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman’s long search has ended after he was reunited in Tokyo with a cherished guitar 45 years after it was stolen from a Toronto hotel.
1 day ago
Travelers arrive an air train at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on July 1, 2022 in Newa...
DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Holiday-travel chaos: Airlines brace for huge weekend crowds

The July Fourth holiday weekend is off to a booming start with airport crowds crushing the numbers seen in 2019, before the pandemic.
1 day ago
DONETSK DISTRICT, UKRAINE - JULY 01: A fireball appears in the woods as a tank unit with the 14th M...
NOMAAN MERCHANT Associated Press

US announces $820M in Ukraine aid, including missile systems

The U.S. announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with $820 million in new military aid, including new surface-to-air missile systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia's heavy reliance on long-range strikes in the war.
1 day ago
CONCORD, NH - JULY 13:  U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate John McCain (R-AZ) gestures while deli...
DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press

Biden to award Medal of Freedom to Biles, McCain, Giffords

President Joe Biden will present the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 17 people, including actor Denzel Washington, gymnast Simone Biles and the late John McCain, the Arizona Republican with whom Biden served in the U.S. Senate.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
SC Democrat seeks age limit for ‘geriatric’ politicians