Is Bob Dole Too Old to Be President?

Cue Card preview image

General Information

Presidential Debate
Event Date:
Air/Publish Date:
Resource Type:
Video Political Debate
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
Clip Length:


At a 1996 presidential debate in San Diego, Bob Dole is asked whether he is too old to be president. Bill Clinton responds that Dole isn't too old, but he does question "the age of his ideas." Both Dole and Clinton talk about their education plans, student loans, taxes and the economy.



"Is Bob Dole Too Old to Be President?" Presidential Debate. NBCUniversal Media. 16 Oct. 1996. NBC Learn. Web. 18 January 2015.


(1996, October 16). Is Bob Dole Too Old to Be President? [Television series episode]. Presidential Debate. Retrieved from


"Is Bob Dole Too Old to Be President?" Presidential Debate, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 10/16/1996. Accessed Sun Jan 18 2015 from NBC Learn:


Is Bob Dole Too Old to Be President?

Ms. MELISSA NAUDIN: My name is Melissa Naudin, and I'm a third-year student at UC San Diego, and I just want to say that it's a great honor representing the voices of America. My voice--my question is concerning you, Mr. Dole. All the controversy regarding your age: How do you feel you can respond to young voices of America today and tomorrow?

Senator BOB DOLE: Well, I think age is very--you know, wisdom comes from age, experience and intelligence. And if you have some of each, and I have some age and some experience, some intelligence. That adds up to wisdom. I think it also is a strength. It's an advantage. You know, I have a lot of young people work in my office, work in my campaign. This is about America. This is about--somebody said earlier, one of the first questions, we're--we're together. There's one America, one nation.

I'm looking at our economic plan because I'm concerned about the future for young people. I'm looking about drugs. The president's been AWOL for four years. I'm looking--about crime. He'll claim credit for crime going down, but it happens because mayors and governors and others have brought crime down. Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York, brought crime down 25 percent just in New York City, but, of course, the president will take credit for that.

My view is we want to find jobs and opportunities and education. This year the Republican Congress, as far as student loans, went from $24 billion to $36 billion over the next six years, a 50 percent increase; the highest appropriation ever, $6 billion for Pell Grants--very, very important. And we also raised the amount of each Pell Grant.

In our economic plan, the $500 child credit can be used for young people, rolled over and over and over, if--you're, of course, not this age, but if you have a child two years old, 7 percent interest, be worth about $18,000 by the time that child was ready for college.

President BILL CLINTON: I can only tell you that I don't think Senator Dole is too old to be president. It's the--the age of his ideas that I question. You're almost not old enough to remember this, but we've tried this before, promising people an election-year tax cut that's not paid for...

Sen. DOLE: We tried it last time you ran.

Pres. CLINTON: ...telling you can have everything--you got. And so let me just say this. Did you hear him say that Congress just voted to increase student loans and scholarships? They did, after he left. The last budget he led cut Pell Grants, cut student loans.

Sen. DOLE: Now that's not...

Pres. CLINTON: I vetoed it when they shut the government down. My plan would give students a dollar-for-dollar reduction for the costs of a typical community college tuition, a $10,000 deduction a year for the costs of college tuition, would let families save in an IRA and withdraw tax free to pay for the cost of education and it's all paid for. My whole administration is about your future. It's about what the 21st century's going to be like for you. And I hope you'll look at the ideas in it. Thank you.