Nikki Haley calls for cognitive test for older politicians

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley suggested in an interview on Thursday that leaders in the government who are of an advanced age should undergo a “cognitive test.”

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody questioned Haley about her thoughts on the mental health of 78-year-old President Biden, the oldest man to hold the office, asking if she had any concerns.

“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 said, comparing it to how lawmakers disclose their tax returns.

“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,” Haley, 49, added. “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 former South Carolina governor pointed to instances that seemed to suggest Biden was not completely aware of everything going on in his administration, such as the fallout with France as a result of the U.S.’s trilateral nuclear submarine agreement with the United Kingdom and Australia.

Biden climate envoy John Kerry said in interview in France last month that the president “literally had not been aware of what had transpired.”

“He can’t act like he doesn’t know something,” Haley said. “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 advanced ages of both Biden and former President Trump, 75, was brought up frequently during the 2020 presidential elections.

During the sole vice presidential debate, USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page asked both then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and former Vice President Mike Pence if they had spoken with their running mates about any contingency plans should they become unable to serve, noting that they would both be serving alongside the oldest U.S. presidents in history, regardless of who won.

Both vice presidential candidates skirted directly answering the question at the time.

A few months before the election, Trump claimed to have “aced” a cognitive test in an apparent effort to shoot back at his critics.

“I took it at Walter Reed Medical Center in front of doctors and they were very surprised. They said, ‘That’s an unbelievable thing, rarely does anybody do what you just did,’” Trump said.

In June, Trump’s former White House physician, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), demanded that Biden undergo a cognitive test, sending a letter to the president, his physician and chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci.

“When I was Physician to President Trump, the media relentlessly pushed a narrative that he needed a cognitive test. I administered the test and he excelled!” Jackson said at the time. “Given the precedent set and President Biden’s CLEAR mental struggles, I believe it’s past time he take a cognitive test.”

Tags Anthony Fauci cognitive test Donald Trump Joe Biden John Kerry Mike Pence Nikki Haley

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