Feb 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Nikki Haley: Bernie Sanders is the reason "we need" competency tests

Nikki Haley during a town hall in Urbandale, Iowa, on Feb. 20. Photo: Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley slammed back at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) after he criticized her proposal for mental competency tests for older politicians.

Driving the news: Sanders, 81, told Stephen Colbert on CBS’s "Late Show" Monday that Haley’s plan for competency tests for all federal candidates over the age of 75 is "nothing more than old-fashioned ageism" and is "not acceptable."

  • Haley, 51, defended her proposal claiming at a campaign event Tuesday that "Bernie Sanders lost his mind because I asked for that. He is exactly the reason we need it," per The Hill.

Of note: When Colbert said the Constitution already lays out the qualifications for the presidency, Sanders replied, "Well some of these guys don't worry about the Constitution too much."

Catch up quick: Haley, 51, presented the idea of mental competency tests during her 2024 presidential campaign announcement last week.

  • "America is not past our prime. It's just that our politicians are past theirs," the former South Carolina governor said.
  • Sanders then called the proposal "absurd" and told CBS News' "Face the Nation that "we are fighting racism, we're fighting sexism, we're fighting homophobia, I think we should also be fighting ageism."

What to watch: Both Democrats and Republicans are getting louder about age as a way to avoid a 2024 re-match between Biden, 80, and former President Trump, 76.

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