Nikki Haley, 49, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Governor of South Carolina, made the case on Thursday for “cognitive tests” for politicians of advanced age.
The comments came during an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody host of The Water Cooler on Real America’s Voice, as Brody questioned Haley about whether she had concerns about the mental state of President Joe Biden, 78, who is currently the oldest man to hold the office of President of the United States, reported The Hill.
How exactly, would one go about this? Haley’s idea was to take some kind of test and then have it be distributed the way lawmakers typically make their tax returns public:
“Well what I’ll tell you is, rather than making this about a person, we seriously need to have a conversation that if you’re gonna have anyone above a certain age in a position of power — whether it’s the House, whether it’s the Senate, whether it’s vice president, whether it’s president — you should have some sort of cognitive test.”
Haley went on to say that a lot of members of government are deep into their senior years:
“And right now, let’s face it, we’ve got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that’s not being disrespectful. That’s a fact. And when it comes to that, this shouldn’t be partisan. We should seriously be looking at the ages of the people that are running our country and understand if that’s what we want.”
The relevant excerpt of the interview was made public on Twitter:
NEW! @NikkiHaley tells me Joe Biden’s mental state, “makes everyone nervous.” She calls for mental health screening of all older politicians. “Let’s face it: we’ve got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that’s not being disrespectful. That’s a fact.” pic.twitter.com/efDl0oQxTI
— David Brody (@DBrodyReports) November 4, 2021
To illustrate her point, Haley pointed to a number of Biden’s bizarre acts in public, seemingly irrelevant tangents in conversation, and other odd behavior, that appeared to indicate possible cognitive issues.
Among those issues she brought up was the fallout with France as a result of the AUKUS pact that cost the country dearly in submarine sales to Australia. Then there was the fact that Biden’s own “climate czar” and former Secretary of State John Kerry had told an interviewer in France last month that Biden “literally had not been aware of what had transpired.”
Other times, Haley noted Biden seems to have openly signaled that he is being guided:
“He can’t act like he doesn’t know something, because every time he acts like he doesn’t know something from ‘OK, they tell me to call on these reporters,’ you know, he keeps giving signals that he’s not with us. So it’s not people hating on Biden, it’s Biden really showing the country that he’s not totally in charge, and that makes everyone nervous.”
The issue of presidential mental status has been a recurring one, due to the age of both Biden, 78, and former President Donald Trump, 75. On the campaign trail, both vice-presidential candidates, Mike Pence and Kamala Harris were asked whether they had contingency plans for some kind of potential lapse in mental faculties of the sitting presidents, but both sidestepped the questions.
Haley is not the first to question Biden’s mental fitness. In June, Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX), former physician for Trump, sent a letter to Biden, Biden’s physician, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, demanding a cognitive test for Biden.
As of writing, there is no indication that Biden will agree to submit to such a thing, nor that any lawmakers will begin to take tests and divulge them.
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