Sen. Bernie Sanders called presidential hopeful Nikki Haley’s suggestion of an age-based competency test for politicians “absurd,” speaking Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“We are fighting racism, we’re fighting sexism, we’re fighting homophobia — I think we should also be fighting ageism,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said to host Margaret Brennan.
Instead, politicians should be judged for their beliefs, the 81-year-old said.
“There are a lot of 40-year-olds out there who ain’t particularly competent,” Sanders said. “Older people, you know, you look at the individual. I don’t think you make a blanket statement.”
Haley, the 51-year-old former governor of South Carolina, announced her bid for the Republican nomination for president last week. In her announcement speech, calling for “a new generation,” she expressed support for a policy mandating mental competency tests for politicians older than 75.
Former President Donald Trump, 76, has announced a run for re-election, and a host of other Republicans have also hinted at possible campaigns. President Joe Biden, 80, is also expected to run again.