Some younger candidates in the crowded Democratic presidential primary are suggesting that the early front-runner, 76-year-old Joe Biden, is too entrenched in the past to lead the country.

Both former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, 46, and Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have stepped up questions this week about Biden.

They are openly wondering if the former vice president really can provide new perspectives for the future after the 2020 election.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke talks to the media after participating in a 2-mile run with members and friends of the LGBTQ community, Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke talks to the media after participating in a 2-mile run with members and friends of the LGBTQ community, Wednesday, June 12, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The criticisms come two weeks before Democrats gather for the first presidential debate of the primary. They underscore a generational divide some candidates are trying to draw in hopes of reshaping the race.

Biden has shrugged off questions about his age, especially since President Donald Trump turns 73 on Friday. And Bernie Sanders is 77.

Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, right, attends a rally protesting against President Donald Trump policies outside of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, right, attends a rally protesting against President Donald Trump policies outside of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)