Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) put GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley on blast Sunday over her suggestions that any elected official 75 years or older be compelled to take a competency test in order to qualify for a White House run.
The 81-year-old Sanders referred to Haley’s comments as “absurd” during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“We are fighting racism, we’re fighting sexism, we’re fighting homophobia,” Sanders said. “I think we should also be fighting ageism. Trust people, look at people and say, ‘You know, this person is competent, this person is not competent.’”
Sanders, who may run for office once again in 2024, asserted that voters can judge individual candidates themselves.
“I don’t think you make a blanket statement,” he said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s proposal for mandatory mental competency tests for politicians older than 75 is “absurd.”
“We are fighting racism, we're fighting sexism, we're fighting homophobia. I think we should also be fighting ageism.” pic.twitter.com/fHeWYGIxJV
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) February 20, 2023
Haley’s remarks after she officially launched her bid to run for president in 2024.
“We’re ready. Ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future,” she told a crowd gathered in Charleston, South Carolina. She appeared to take shots at both former President Trump and Joe Biden, saying, “America is not past our prime… It’s just that our politicians are past theirs.”
CNN reporter Don Lemon commented on Haley’s proposal last week, indicating on “CNN This Morning” that the “talk about age” brings him discomfort.
He then infamously offended other co-hosts on the show when he indicated that Haley is going down the “wrong road” as she “is not in her prime.”
“Nikki Haley is not in her prime, sorry,” Lemon said last Thursday. “A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”
After being asked to clarify his remarks, he replied, “If you Google, ‘when is a woman in her prime,’ it’ll say 20s, 30s, and 40s. … I’m not saying I agree with that so I think she has to be careful about saying that.”
CNN's Don Lemon got personal when he criticized Nikki Haley's comments calling for competency tests for politicians over 75 years old — an apparent shot at Trump, 76, and Biden, 80.
"Haley isn’t in her prime.," he said. "A woman is in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s." pic.twitter.com/rJrTTnMPRB
— POLITICO (@politico) February 16, 2023
Lemon has since been suspended from the show; reports have revealed he missed last Friday’s broadcast and also did not appear on Monday. It is unknown if or when he will return.