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CNN’s Don Lemon calls for female president and fawns over female colleagues after sexist comments

CNN anchor Don Lemon quickly changed his tune in time for International Women’s Day following backlash for his sexist comments about Nikki Haley. 

After previously branding the 51-year-old presidential hopeful ‘past her prime’, Lemon’s return to the network saw him fawn over his female colleagues and urge voters to elect the first female president in 2024. 

‘There are so many places around the world where there have been women leaders who are running the country… but not in the biggest democracy in the world?’ he questioned.

India is in fact the world’s largest democracy with 1.4 billion people while the United States is the second biggest with a population of 331.9 million. 

Lemon’s comments came as he joined an all-female lineup for CNN’s breakfast show This Morning.   

Don Lemon made a clear attempt to distance himself from his previous sexist comments as he co-hosted his CNN morning show on International Women’s Day

Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour joined Lemon's show on International Women's Day, where she condemned the fact that a woman has never been elected US president

 Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour joined Lemon’s show on International Women’s Day, where she condemned the fact that a woman has never been elected US president

In a discussion with Iranian journalist Christiane Amanpour, Lemon jumped at the chance to U-turn on his sexist rant about Nikki Haley. 

As the panel discussed female leaders in other nations and questioned why no woman has ever been elected US president, Lemon threw his hands in the air and asked: ‘Christiane, what is going on?’ 

‘It is crazy,’ she responded. 

‘You can ask any female who ran for the highest office in the country how they feel being compared to other lesser evolved democracies in the world, which have actually had women leaders.’ 

Amanpour also alluded to sexism plaguing the political careers of female leaders, not least those made by Lemon following Haley’s presidential announcement last month. 

‘There is a different and unacceptable pressure that is put on women leaders, holding them to a very different standard,’ she said. 

Her comments led to an awkward lull on the show, where Lemon cut in by saying: ‘It’s always a pleasure to see you…’ 

Lemon’s fawning over the potential for a woman president came after he sparked fury for hitting out at presidential candidate Haley’s age last month. 

Lemon, who is 56, said 51-year-old Nikki Haley should tread lightly on her call for mental competency tests for America’s aging leaders. 

‘She says people, you know, politicians are suddenly not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime,’ he said. 

‘A woman is in her prime in her 20s and 30s, maybe 40s.’

Nikki Haley has since fired back at Lemon's comments about her age, telling the CNN anchor to 'hold my beer and watch'

Nikki Haley has since fired back at Lemon’s comments about her age, telling the CNN anchor to ‘hold my beer and watch’

Despite being quickly confronted by co-hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, Lemon doubled down as he bizarrely urged viewers to ‘google it’ to prove he was right.  

He was asked by Harlow ‘What are you talking about? Prime for what?’ before Lemon pressed on while insisting ‘That’s not according to me.’

‘Are you talking about prime for, like, childbearing? Or are you talking about prime for being president?’ Harlow continued, as the other pundits distanced themselves from the clash. 

‘Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,’ Lemon responded.

‘Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime? It says 20s, 30s and 40s.’

‘I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politics are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. She would not be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.’

Lemon was quickly cut from the lineup of the CNN breakfast show following his remarks, and was spotted taking a ‘surprise’ holiday amid the backlash.

Haley threw her hat into the ring as the first major contender to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination last month. 

And following Lemon’s comments about her ‘prime’, she quickly fired back, telling the anchor to ‘hold my beer and watch’.  

Lemon (center) has been criticized for his behavior while on the air with co-anchors Kaitlan Collins, left, and Poppy Harlow, right

Lemon (center) has been criticized for his behavior while on the air with co-anchors Kaitlan Collins, left, and Poppy Harlow, right

The CNN anchor has faced backlash in recent times for a series of outlandish comments

The CNN anchor has faced backlash in recent times for a series of outlandish comments

Lemon’s misogynistic comments about Haley came after several other questionable moments on the air, including asking a female panelist who stumbled over her words whether she had ‘mommy brain’. 

And not long after the launch of the morning show last year, Lemon caught the ire of his fellow panelists after criticizing women’s soccer. 

During a discussion about the pay rates for the US male and female national teams, Lemon said the men’s team should get paid more because they were ‘more interesting to watch’ – despite the women’s team having more comparable success.  

Viewers also called him out in recent times after he repeatedly interrupted the other female presenters during their on-screen discussions. 

In one reported outburst in December, Lemon allegedly ‘screamed’ at his fellow This Morning anchor Collins in a spat about them interrupting each other. 

His temper led her to run off the set in tears after he flew off the handle in front of the entire television crew, sources told the New York Post at the time. 

The Best of the Worst of Don Lemon

Was Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 swallowed by a black hole? – During coverage of the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in 2014, Don Lemon asked a panel of experts whether it was possible the Boeing jet might have been swallowed up by a black hole:

‘People are saying to me, why aren’t you talking about the possibility – and I’m just putting it out there – that something odd happened to this plane, something beyond our understanding?’ he asked.  

‘What if it was something fully that we don’t really understand? A lot of people have been asking about that, about black holes and on, and on, and on, and all of these conspiracy theories,’ he continued, adding comparisons to the Bermuda Triangle and the television show Lost.   

US Department of Transportation inspector general Mary Schiavo said the theories were unlikely:

‘Well, it is. A small black hole would suck in our entire universe so we know it’s not that. The Bermuda Triangle is often weather. And Lost is a TV show,’ she said.

Why didn’t you just bite his penis? –  While interviewing Bill Cosby sexual assault accuser Joan Tarshis, Lemon asked her why she didn’t stop him from raping her by biting his penis:

‘You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you don’t want to do it,’ he said.

‘I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, I that didn’t even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have,’ Tashis said.

‘Right. Meaning the using of teeth, right?’ Lemon asked, ‘As a weapon.’

‘Ouch,’ Tashis said, ‘No, it didn’t cross my mind.’

Pull your pants up, black people – In 2013 while talking about Bill O’Reilly’s controversial comments that unmarried black women need to stop having children and inner-city schools need to enforce discipline, Lemon argued the Fox News host’s plans to elevate black people wasn’t as bold as it should be.

‘In my estimation, he doesn’t go far enough,’ said Lemon, ‘Walking around with your a** and your underwear showing is not okay. In fact, it comes from prison. 

‘When they take away belts from prisoners so they can’t make a weapon. And then it evolved into which role each prisoner would have during male-on-male prison sex.’

Lemon went on to explain black people should stop using the N-word, and refrain from littering.