Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley renewed her calls for term limits in Congress on Sunday, saying Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other elected officials should know when to “walk away” and make room for new leadership.
Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, made the comments in an interview with CBS’ News Margaret Brennan just days after McConnell froze at a press briefing mid-sentence. The lawmaker, 81, has said he is fine and intends to serve out the remainder of his term, but the episode prompted concerns about his health and the future of his leadership in the Republican Party.
Haley, 51, said the incident was just one in a series of concerning moments for aging lawmakers in Congress.
“I think Mitch McConnell did an amazing job when it comes to our judiciary,” Haley said Sunday. “When we look at the judges, when we look at the Supreme Court, he’s been a great leader. But I do think … you know, we’ve got to stop electing people because they look good in the picture or they hold a baby well.”
“We’ve got to stop electing people because we like them and they’ve been there a long time,” she continued.
Haley went on to tout term limits and a mental competency test for older members of Congress — ideas she has raised before in her campaign.
“We’ve got to have a new generation,” Haley said, pointing to both Democrats and Republicans. “What I am saying about Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi — all of them: know when to walk away, know when to walk away. We have huge issues that need new solutions. We need new generational leaders. We appreciate your service. We appreciate what you’ve done. But this is why we will fight for term limits.”