Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Thursday defended her demand that politicians older than 75, who are past their ‘prime,’ get mental competency tests.
‘When people send someone to Washington, they need to know they’re at the top of their game. That’s why I think those competency tests are important,’ she argued on Fox & Friends. ‘We can’t have someone like Joe Biden, who’s asleep at the wheel, and have China sitting there threatening us and us wondering if he actually knows what’s going on.’
Haley made the pitch for competency tests in a 2024 campaign kickoff speech Wednesday in Charleston.
The plan seemed to be aimed at both Biden, 80, and former President Donald Trump, 76, who until Haley jumped in Tuesday, was the only Republican who had announced a 2024 presidential bid.
Asked by Fox’s Brian Kilmeade how Haley thought Trump would do, his former ambassador to the United Nations said she believed the ex-president would pass.
During an appearance Thursday on Fox & Friends, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley defended her demand that politicians older than 75, who are past their ‘prime,’ get mental competency tests
‘You know, I think he did great the last time he did it. I have no reason to think he wouldn’t do well this time,’ Haley answered. ‘But do I think we need it.’
She added that mental competency tests shouldn’t just be given to presidents, but aging members of Congress as well.
Trump famously boasted in July 2020 that he asked his doctor to allow him to take a cognitive test to ‘shut these people up,’ referring to those critiquing his mental fitness to hold office.
‘It was 30 or 35 questions. The first questions are very easy. The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question,’ Trump said in an interview with Fox. ‘It’s like, you’ll go “Person, woman, man, camera, TV.” So, they say, “Could you repeat that?” So, I said, “Yeah. So, it’s: Person, woman, man, camera, TV.” OK, that’s very good. If you get it in order, you get extra points,’ Trump explained.
The president then said that 10 minutes later he was asked to repeat the words in order again and did so successfully.
‘”Can you do it?” And you go, “Person, woman, man, camera, TV,”‘ Trump said. ‘They say, “That’s amazing, how did you do that?” I do it because I have, like, a good memory. Because I’m cognitively there,’ he said.
The clip went viral and was used for fodder by comedians.
President Joe Biden departs the White House Thursday for Walter Reed to get his physical. Haley called for politicians older than 75 to get competency tests and said Thursday morning that Biden is ‘asleep at the wheel’
Former President Donald Trump tore into Haley, his former U.N. ambassador, after she rolled out her presidential platform in Charleston Wednesday, saying he did South Carolina a ‘favor’ by appointing her to the U.N. so Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster could take over
Biden was at Walter Reed Thursday for his annual physical, which was delayed for several months.
When he previously received a physical his doctor made no mention of any kind of cognitive exam.
During her kickoff speech Wednesday Haley argued, ‘It’s not that America is past its prime, it’s just that our politicians are past theirs.’
‘We won’t win the fight for the 21st Century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th Century,’ she added.
Two days into her presidential run and Haley’s main selling point has been that she, at age 51, represents generational change.
She told the Fox & Friends hosts that when she called Trump to give him a heads up that she would be entering the race, ‘I told him that I was doing this because I thought it was time for a new generation.’
Trump, however, did not greet Haley’s entrance into the race with grace.
He mocked her Wednesday on Truth social and claimed she only had ‘1 percent’ support in the polls.
The most recent 2024 GOP primary candidate survey, conducted by Reuters/Ipsos, shows Haley with 4 percent support.
‘That was a big reason why I appointed Nikki to the position—It was a favor to the people I love in South Carolina!’ Trump argued on Truth social in the hours following Haley’s 2024 campaign rollout
‘She’s polling at 1%, not a bad start!!’ Trump also remarked. Haley pushed back during her interview on Fox & Friends saying she was ‘not afraid’ of the ex-president trying to blow up her presidential campaign
Additionally, he said he did South Carolina a ‘favor’ by appointing her ambassador to the U.N.
‘The greatest thing Nikki Haley did for our Country, and the Great State of South Carolina, was accepting the position of United Nations Ambassador so that the incredible then Lieutenant Governor, Henry McMaster, could be Governor of South Carolina, where he has done an absolutely fantastic job,’ Trump said.
‘That was a big reason why I appointed Nikki to the position—It was a favor to the people I love in South Carolina!’ the ex-president added.
Fox’s Steve Doocy said he believed a number of Republicans were eying the 2024 race, but were hesitant to jump in for fear that Trump would ‘blow them up.’
‘That’s the difference between them and me,’ Haley said. ‘I’m not afraid of that.’
‘I love America. I know we have no time to waste,’ the former South Carolina governor added.