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Back to Reagan Quotes & Speeches

Debate Between the President and Former Vice President Walter F. Mondale in Kansas City, Missouri

In the second presidential debate with Democratic candidate Walter Mondale, President Reagan addressed questions of his age and mental fitness for office. When political correspondent Henry Trewhitt noted that, “you already are the oldest President in history,” and expressed concerns about how the President would fare in a security crisis, President Reagan responded with the famous lines, “I want you to know that also 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.” His witty response, along with his sharp performance throughout the debate, boosted his poll numbers and increased voter confidence.


"I want you to know that also 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."