Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s age and health issues, including two instances where he appeared to freeze while speaking publicly, point to the need for term limits for all branches of government, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told Newsmax on Thursday.
“All three branches of government ought to have a term limit,” Huckabee, a former presidential candidate, said on Newsmax’s “Wake Up America.” “You go and you serve, and then you go the heck home and you live under the laws that you pass for the rest of us. You don’t get a congressional pension. You get Social Security like other American workers, but you have a limit of how long you can stay.”
Huckabee said he doubts there will ever be term limits unless Americans demand them, as members of Congress will never impose them on themselves.
McConnell, R-Ky., is back on the Senate floor after his latest incident, and the Capitol doctor has said there is no evidence of seizures, a stroke, or Parkinson’s disease and gave McConnell a clean bill of health.
McConnell, 80, said he will finish his term ending in January 2027, and Huckabee told Newsmax he’s not surprised.
“Interestingly, most of the senators in the Republican caucus have rallied around him, and part of the reason for that is he’s raised a lot of money for them, so they’re not going to go and say something unkind because they just got a boatload of cash in their own campaigns thanks to his fundraising,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee said it’s problematic to see a politician in his 80s, who hit his head in a fall earlier this year, refuse to retire.
“I am not a neurologist, and I don’t play one on television, so I’m not going to try to diagnose any medical conditions, and I’ll take his doctor’s word for it,” said Huckabee. “But I do think what we’re seeing is that there are people who are in public office who maybe ought to think [whether] it’s time to step aside.”
Huckabee, though, said he does not think the issue is about age, noting that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is 89 and functioning well.
“The man still runs every day,” Huckabee said about Grassley. “His mind is sharp. He’s very effective. You see people who have aged brilliantly and then you see people who may be in their 70s who barely can get around.”
The 2024 election will see Democrats defending 23 Senate seats, with Republicans defending 10. Huckabee said it’s a “big question” whether McConnell will be able to lead the race.
“I think that some of these instances he’s had where he freezes and seems to be unaware of his surroundings may give pause that he’s the right guy, but it’s a decision that he [and] his family has to make,” said Huckabee. “I hope they make it for the best of the country.”
Huckabee also said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., 90, “doesn’t even know where she is.”
“We need a system that says look, when you no longer can fully function, it’s time to step aside,” Huckabee said. “It’s time to say I want to go at the top of my game rather than when I’ve been pulled from the mound because I can no longer get the ball across the plate.”
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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