Donald Trump turns 78 – are there signs that age is becoming an issue?

Palm Beach, Florida - As he turns 78 on Friday, Donald Trump is showing signs of slowing down – both physically and mentally.

As Donald Trump 78, Donald Trump's age could become a factor in the 2024 presidential election.
As Donald Trump 78, Donald Trump's age could become a factor in the 2024 presidential election.  © SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Trump has made Joe Biden's advancing age one of his main campaign rallying points, trying to position himself as an energetic alternative to the sometimes unsteady 81-year-old Democrat.

Nearly every day, the billionaire businessman's campaign team sends out videos of Biden stumbling or stuttering, looking worn-out or appearing disoriented at public events.

They claim these clips, which are painstakingly edited together and sometimes distort reality, are proof that Biden cannot effectively run the US.

Trump launches vicious attacks on George Clooney and Nancy Pelosi amid Biden crisis
Donald Trump Trump launches vicious attacks on George Clooney and Nancy Pelosi amid Biden crisis

"His brain is straight gnocchi at this point," senior Trump aide Jason Miller said Thursday.

But amid all the criticism, Trump's team is trying to make voters forget that he is just three and a half years younger than his November election opponent.

The ex-president will celebrate another trip around the sun in grand style on Friday night in Florida.

"Join us in celebrating the birthday of THE BEST PRESIDENT EVER," reads the invitation, asking guests to come dressed in the colors of the American flag.

Trumo giving off "old, drunken uncle vibe"

Trump's impulsive nature is becoming even more of a concern as he ages.
Trump's impulsive nature is becoming even more of a concern as he ages.  © REUTERS

For Matthew Foster, a lecturer in government at American University, "there are some noticeable differences in terms of physical capabilities," noting that Biden's gait can be rather stiff at times.

But Foster also points out that Trump's schedule is much lighter, with more time between public appearances, and when he does address supporters, he often descends into long, disjointed, stream-of-consciousness tirades.

"He's giving off the old, drunken uncle vibe at times when he is giving these speeches, and this might be a sign of age, that you become less able to control all of your impulses," Foster told AFP.

Biden takes aim at Trump and the media in aggressively defiant Detroit rally
Joe Biden Biden takes aim at Trump and the media in aggressively defiant Detroit rally

"And for somebody who's already so impulsive, this could go into unforeseen territory."

Trump's rambling Vegas speech raises eyebrows

During a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Trump rambled on about sharks and batteries in a speech that raised eyebrows.
During a campaign rally in Las Vegas, Trump rambled on about sharks and batteries in a speech that raised eyebrows.  © Brandon Bell / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

At a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sunday, the fiery Trump launched into a mind-boggling diatribe that ping-ponged from shark attacks to electric batteries to electrocutions, which team Biden called "unhinged."

In recent months, Trump also confused the leaders of Turkey and Hungary, warned that the world was headed for a second – not third – world war, confused Biden with former President Barack Obama, and called fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter a "wonderful man."

Trump is no longer subject to the same routine and regular medical examinations that his rival must undergo as the occupant of the Oval Office.

As head of state, Biden must take a litany of medical tests for transparency purposes. The detailed results are made public by the White House physician.

In contrast, no information has been made available in years about the health of Trump, who is known to be a fan of fast food.

In mid-November, the presumptive Republican candidate published a short letter from his doctor, which said he was in "excellent" health, and that he had even lost weight, without saying how much.

At the start of the year, Trump told supporters that he had recently taken a cognitive exam and "aced" it.

"I'll let you know when I go bad; I really think I'll be able to tell you," he said.

Whoever wins the November 5 election will be the oldest American president to take the oath of office.

Cover photo: Collage: SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP & REUTERS

More on Donald Trump: