Former President Donald Trump came out Tuesday in support of Republican rival Nikki Haley’s proposal for mental competency tests for politicians 75 and older, adding that presidential candidates should also be tested on their physical abilities.
“ANYBODY running for the Office of President of the United States should agree to take a full & complete Mental Competency Test simultaneously (or before!) with the announcement that he or she is running, & likewise, but to a somewhat lesser extent, agree to a test which would prove that you are physically capable of doing the job,” Trump, 76, said on his Truth Social messaging platform.
“Being an outstanding President requires great mental acuity & physical stamina. If you don’t have these qualities or traits, it is likely you won’t succeed. MAGA!” he continued.
Trump famously touted acing a cognitive test when he was president, telling Fox News in a 2020 interview that he stunned the doctors with his memory.
The exam consisted of repeating five words in precise order — person, woman, man, camera, TV — after a short delay.
“And you go: ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’ If you get it in order, you get extra points,” Trump said at the time. “They said nobody gets it in order. It’s actually not that easy, but for me, it was easy.”
He also suggested that then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden should take the same test.
“Joe should take that test because something is going on, and I say this with respect,” Trump said. “I mean, [it’s] going to probably happen to all of us, right? You know, it’s going to happen. But we can’t take a chance of it happening.”
Haley, 51, the former US ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, called for a new generation of leaders when she announced her presidential bid last week in South Carolina, saying lawmakers should be subject to term limits and those 75 and older should have to prove their mental fitness.
“We’re ready,” said Haley, also the former governor of South Carolina. “Ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past. And we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future.”
So far, she is the only Republican who has formally announced that they will challenge Trump for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024.
Trump launched his third bid for the White House Nov. 15, a week after the midterm elections.
Haley’s call for mental competency tests was widely seen as a jab at Trump and Biden, who at 80 is the country’s oldest-ever president.
“When America is distracted, the world is less safe — and today, our enemies think the American era has passed. They’re wrong. America is not past our prime. It’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” Haley said at her campaign kickoff.
Republicans have long criticized Biden for his many verbal gaffes and have called on him to take a cognitive test.
Biden got a clean bill of health last week after his annual physical, but his doctor didn’t say whether he examined the president’s mental acuity.