Nikki Haley, former US Ambassador to the United Nations under Donald Trump and GOP candidate for president in 2024, said on Wednesday that politicians over the age of 75, such as Joe Biden and Donald Trump, should take "mental competency tests. On Thursday, CNN anchor Don Lemon said the age talk was going down "the wrong road" because women like Haley were also past their "prime."
Speaking to his CNN This Morning co-hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, Lemon said, "I think that—I think it's the wrong road to go down, she says people—you know—politicians or something, are not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn't in her prime, sorry."
Lemon went on to say women were in their prime "in their 20s and 30s and maybe 40s."
"Wait, prime for what?" Harlow asked.
"That's not according to me," Lemon said, later adding that "if you Google" women in their prime, that is the age range the search engine will return.
Harlow asked if there needed to be a "qualifier" such as "child-rearing" and Lemon responded, "I'm just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime and what they need to be in their prime when they serve because she wouldn't be in a prime according to Google."
On Twitter, Ben Shapiro said, "This is one of the most sexist things a 'news host' has said in recent memory, but nothing will happen to Don Lemon, of course."
Comedian Jimmy Failla wrote, "Don Lemon says Nikki Haley is past her prime. YES, it’s a brain dead remark but if anybody knows about being past their prime it’s a guy who got booted from Primetime for not having any viewers."
Haley appeared on Fox & Friends on Thursday morning, saying, "When people send someone to Washington, they need to know they're at the top of their game. That's why I think those competency tests are important. We can't have someone like Joe Biden, who's asleep at the wheel, and have China sitting there threatening us and us wondering if he actually knows what's going on."
According to the Daily Mail, Joe Biden reported to Walter Reed on Thursday for his annual physical. He has not released any cognitive test results from previous health checkups.
Clay Travis said on Twitter, "Don Lemon says Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime as a politician because she’s not in her 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Holy shit. She’s only 51! Biden’s 80! This may be the dumbest thing ever said on CNN. And I love that he cited Google as his source."
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded on Thursday to Haley's comments and said, "I'm going to be very careful as I am speaking about a candidate. She's currently, as you all know, a candidate for 2024. So I am covered by the Hatch Act. So I'm not going to speak to her directly in her comments, specifically, but I will say this more broadly. You know, we've heard these types of attacks or remarks before, and, you know, if you go back to 2020, they said that the President couldn't do it in 2020 and attacked him there and he beat them in 20 and 2021."
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