Former 2020 candidate Mike Gravel: 'No question' Sanders is physically fit to be president

Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel said Monday there’s “no question” Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDNC warns campaigns about cybersecurity after attempted scam Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Biden looks to shore up lead in S.C. MORE (I-Vt.) is physically fit to be president.

“In fact, the best thing to happen to him is to have this little scare and to treat it,” the former Alaska senator told Hill. TV. “In my mind, he’s qualified to win the presidency and to go forward."

Sanders, 78, underwent a stent procedure earlier this month to treat a blocked artery after he experienced what one of his senior advisers initially described as “chest discomfort” during a campaign event in Las Vegas. Days later, after Sanders was discharged from the hospital, his campaign revealed that he had suffered a heart attack.

Gravel, who endorsed Sanders after dropping out of the 2020 race, said he went through a similar health scare of his own, but maintained that it didn't stop him from making a full recovery.

“I didn’t have a heart attack, but when I just got shortness of breath and then when they finally addressed it, they told me that I was on the verge of having a major heart attack,” the 89-year-old told Hill.TV. “They caught it and now I have no limitations.”

Sanders plans to attend Tuesday’s Democratic primary debate in Ohio, and is scheduled to hit the campaign trail with the next week.

In the meantime, he has rolled out new policy proposals.

Shortly after undergoing his heart procedure, he released a plan aimed at reducing the role of money in politics. Under the plan, the Democratic National Committee would no longer be allowed to accept corporate donations. The proposal would also prohibit TV ads during presidential primary debates.

The plan was endorsed by fellow White House hopeful Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardBiden leads by 18 points in South Carolina: poll Buttigieg notes diversity on debate stage: We're '7 white people talking about racial justice' Sanders grows lead in new Hill/HarrisX poll MORE (D-Hawaii).

“The influence of the rich and powerful and the corporate special interests is rampant and this is the result that we’re seeing is an election process that does not serve the interests of voters,” she told Hill.TV on Friday in response to Sanders's proposal.

—Tess Bonn