Biden and Trump should be forced to take mental competency test, suggests Nikki Haley


Joe Biden and Donald Trump should be forced to take a mental competency test, Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley suggested.

The former South Carolina governor, and Mr Trump’s ambassador to the UN, demanded the mental capacity of all candidates over 75 must be vetted.

Addressing supporters in her home state at the weekend Ms Haley, who is 51, added that she would be “fine” if the tests were extended to political candidates aged over 50.

“But when you’re talking about leaders who are deciding on national security when you’re talking about leaders that are deciding our economy and the futures of our children, you need them to be at the top of our game,” she said.

Her call, which she first made earlier this year, was seen as an attack not only on President Joe Biden, who is now 80, but her former boss 76-year-old Donald Trump, whom she served as US ambassador to the United Nations.

“Joe Biden got upset and said I was being ridiculous when I said that, ” she said. “I’m not being disrespectful when I said that. I don’t care if you do mental competency tests for everybody over 50.”

The 76-year-old Donald Trump at the NCAA Wrestling Championships

Credit: Sue Ogrocki/AP

While the attack on Mr Trump was veiled, she was less scrupulous when it came to Mr Biden. “You can’t tell me Joe Biden was the same he was two years ago, he’s not.

“Look at everybody else in DC,” she said. “They’re all old,” she noted.

While early polling shows she is struggling to make an impact on voters, underpinning her call is growing unease in both parties at the age of their likely standard bearers.

Ms Haley is not the only senior politician to call for a “generational change”. New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu has signalled it was time for the party to move on from Mr Trump.

Similarly, senior Democrats – including three governors JB Pritzker of Illinois, Gavin Newsom of California and Phil Murphy of New Jersey – are reportedly discreetly preparing the ground to run if Mr Biden decides against seeking a second term.