According to Article II of the United States Constitution, no person can be eligible to hold the office of president “who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years.” But the minimum age requirement did not stop a Fox News panel on Friday from fretting aloud that 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Congress, will run for president in 2020.
With controversial Hawaii congressional rep Tulsi Gabbard announcing on Thursday that she will run in 2020, as CNN reported, the list of likely Democratic candidates continued to swell, and already includes Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Texas congressional rep Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, and California Senator Kamala Harris — as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who staged a surprising challenge to eventual nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
But on Friday’s edition of the Fox News panel discussion program Outnumbered, host Harris Faulkner asked the panel’s resident Democrat Juan Williams, “What are y’all going to do if Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jumps in, ’cause she’s going to take all the water out of the pool?” as quoted by The Daily Beast.
Ocasio-Cortez, though she has officially been a member of Congress for only eight days as of Friday, has already become one of the Democratic Party’s highest-profile members, even garnering an interview on the venerable CBS News program 60 Minutes.
None of the other four panelists on the Outnumbered program appeared to realize Faulkner’s error, including Williams who simply replied, “I think the right would be delighted because she’s such a convenient foil.”
Ocasio-Cortez, a 2011 graduate of Boston University, who is the founder of children’s book publisher Brook Avenue Press, will not turn 35-years-old — making her eligible to become president — until October 13, 2024, which is 23 days before the November 5 presidential election that year. But in 2020 she will turn 31 years old, still four years too young to hold the office of president, under the Constitution.
The 29-year-old has made headlines during her first week in congressional office for her public statements, including branding Donald Trump as a “racist” in her 60 Minutes interview, as the Inquisitr reported, and her call in the same interview to impose a marginal tax rate of 70 percent on annual incomes of more than $10 million.
Though Republicans attacked the 70 percent tax proposal as something similar to slavery, as longtime anti-tax activist Grover Norquist said on Twitter, as recently as 1981 the top marginal U.S. tax rate was 70 percent on incomes over $216,000, according to a New York Magazine analysis, or about $658,000 in today’s dollars.