Don Lemon Apologizes for ‘Inartful and Irrelevant’ Comment About Nikki Haley’s Age: ‘I Regret It’

The CNN anchor cited Google as his source for saying women in their 50s are past their prime

Don Lemon and Nikki Haley
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CNN host Don Lemon acknowledged a comment he made about women being past their prime over the age of 50 Thursday morning, saying he regrets making it.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”

On Thursday’s “CNN This Morning,” episode, Lemon and co-host Poppy Harlow were discussing Nikki Haley’s announcement to run for president in 2024 and her call for competency tests for presidents over the age of 75, when Lemon drew the conclusion that Haley should be careful when talking about prime age because, according to Google, she wouldn’t be considered to be 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 are suddenly not in their prime,” he said. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. When a woman is considered in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”

Harlow pumped her fists in relief at hearing “40s.”

“So I’ve got another decade,” she said jokingly.

“I”m not saying I agree with that,” Lemon added.

Harlow asked for qualification from Lemon, asking if he meant prime in the terms of childbearing.

Haley herself responded to Lemon’s comment.

“Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job,” she wrote on Twitter. “BTW it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist,” Haley said.

Several users pointed out that Lemon is five years older than Haley and that he didn’t cite Hillary Clinton’s age when she ran for president.

Others cited the double standard for conservative women, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ age and how British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took on that role at the age of 53.