NEW YORK — Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday faulted Democrats for not doing more to cultivate the “next generation of leadership,” adding it wasn’t ideal that President Joe Biden was mounting a reelection bid at age 80.
“He has a powerful record on which to run for reelection,” Torres said at a Manhattan event hosted by the Association for a Better New York, a pro-business civic group. “But is it ideal that we have an 80-year-old running for president? No. But he’s the best hope we have for beating Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis.”
Torres has backed Biden’s reelection bid.
Biden, who is already the oldest person to be elected president, has had to confront difficult questions about whether he’s mentally fit for four more years of grueling schedules. If elected, Biden would turn 86 at the end of his second term.
Torres, 35, made the remarks as part of a wide-ranging conversation on his first term in Congress alongside colleagues who have gotten significantly older than they were decades prior.
“I’m like an embryo in Congress,” the Bronx Democrat joked.
He faulted Democrats for not setting term limits for committee chairs like their Republican counterparts, a setup he said emboldens lawmakers to “feel they have a right to die with their gavel.”
“That stifles, I believe, the development of the next generation of leadership,” Torres said. “We have to be much more effective at building a bench rather than benching our young talent.”