Bernie Sanders ‘Poked the Bear’ by Joking About 75-Year-Old Chris Wallace’s Age

Sen. Bernie Sanders couldn’t help himself when CNN’s Chris Wallace pivoted from numerous questions about possible cognitive testing for aging presidential candidates to a topic much less sensitive to the 81-year-old Vermont Democrat.

“We’re off of age. I think you’re worried about getting old here,” Sanders jested with the 75-year-old host of HBO Max’s ‘Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace. “That’s what I’m hearing here, Chris. But I’ll fight to keep you on the [news] station,” Sanders added with a laugh.

Wallace, in good spirit, was quick to jab back.

“You poked the bear!” joked Wallace, who has been working in broadcast journalism since 1964 when he was an assistant to Walter Cronkite. “I’m gonna go back to age. Truth to tell. Honestly. You’re 81, I’m 75. Am I sharp? Do I think I have the mental acuity I had five or 10 years ago? No, I think I’m pretty good. And to a certain degree, I take a mental acuity test every time I sit down with somebody like you. Do you think maybe you’ve lost a step?”

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“I mean, I let other people make that decision. I think you’re doing pretty well. I’ll vote to keep you on the station here, how’s that?” Sanders answered.

“I think you’re a young 81, so I’ll vote for you, too,” Wallace smiled.

Wallace initially brought up the subject in regards to President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that he would be running for re-election despite turning 80 last November. Wallace pointed to potential hesitancy from would-be Biden voters due to his advanced age. Sanders, who ran against Biden in the 2020 presidential primaries, has already endorsed the president’s re-election.

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“In our country, theoretically, it is the people who make a decision,” Sanders said. “If you think that President Biden is too old and you can’t vote for him, fine, that’s your view. I would suggest you look at the totality of the person. Take a look at the job that he or she does, and make a decision.”

“Wouldn’t it be good to have more information in making that judgment?” Wallace countered.

“I don’t think you go around giving cognitive tests to all the candidates,” Sanders responded. “And just starting at people [age] 75, no, I would not agree.”

Wallace let it be known he meant no disrespect to Sanders, who has held office as a senator of Vermont since 2007.

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