CNN anchor Don Lemon on Thursday commented that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who announced Wednesday that she is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is no longer in her “prime.”
“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said about the 51-year-old Haley. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
Lemon was referring to Haley’s call for politicians over the age of 75 to take “mandatory mental-competency tests,” a not-so-subtle jab at President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, both of whom are older than that.
During the TV segment, fellow CNN host Poppy Harlow pressed Lemon on what he meant when he referred a woman’s prime.
“It depends, just like ‘prime,’ if you look it up, if you Google it, when is a woman in her prime, it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s,” the 56-year-old Lemon continued. “I’m not saying I agree with that. I think she has to be careful about saying that, you know, politicians are in their prime.”
See also: 5 things to know about Nikki Haley, the Republican candidate challenging Trump in 2024
Haley responded to the now viral comments from Lemon on Thursday in a tweet.
Lemon later apologized for his comments.
“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day,” Lemon wrote.
During Haley’s presidential campaign announcement, she said, “America is not past our prime, it’s just that our politicians are past theirs.”