Bernie Sanders, 81, jokes that he couldn’t hear a question about age limits for politicians
When asked if politicians should be subject to age limits, 81-year-old Senator Bernie Sanders leaned forward, tugged at his ear and pretended not to hear the question.
“Excuse me, what did you say?” said the Vermont Independent, laughing and feigning a gruff voice on CBS Mornings tuesday.
The two-time presidential candidate, who is among the oldest members of the Senate, told the hosts there is too much emphasis on race, gender and age in politics. It’s important to look at the individual and their perspective, he said.
“Obviously you want people who are competent, capable, who have energy,” he said. “I mean, my God, being President of the United States takes an enormous amount of energy. But I would say first of all, look at what people stand for. And we don’t do that enough.”
When asked if he plans to run again, Sanders replied, “I haven’t made that decision.” It was unclear whether he was referring to running for the Senate or for the presidency and his office did not respond when asked to clarify. Sanders, whose current Senate term ends in January 2025, called the likelihood of a third presidential bid “very, very slim” and that he will not challenge President Joe Biden in a primary in 2024.
His goal now, he said, is to travel the country to help elect “often young progressives, often young people of color, who are prepared to stand up for working families and take care of the big money interests.” “.
Whether Biden runs for re-election is “his decision,” he said. “Joe is a friend of mine and I think despite huge opposition he tried to do some very, very good things, and he will make that decision himself.”
Sanders’ comments come as Insider’s “Red, White, and Grey” series explores the costs, benefits and dangers of living in a democracy ruled by elderly people, where the questions of a critical importance to the nation’s youth and future technology, civil rights, energy, environment are largely in the hands of those whose bounties have passed.
The average age of the Senate in this Congress is 64.3, the oldest in the chamber’s history, according to the Senate Historical Office.
CBS Mornings hosts noted that some young politicians say it’s time for their generation to step up and most Americans think there should be age limits for politicians. A poll by Insider and Morning Consult found that three out of four Americans support an age limit for members of Congress.
When an Insider reporter asked Sanders about America’s aging leaders, the senator interrupted him with a classic Sanders rant.
“Really!” Sanders stepped in.
“Why don’t you work on a story about the American oligarchy?” he said.