President Joe Biden's age and cognitive status have both been subjects of great speculation throughout his tenure in office, but now, GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley predicted this week that the commander in chief is likely to die at some point in the next five years, as NBC News reports.
Haley suggested that as a result of what she views as Biden's very limited lifespan, voters in the 2024 election should operate on the assumption that a vote for the incumbent is akin to a vote for his running mate, given the high probability that he will not survive until the end of a second term.
During a Wednesday interview on Fox News, Haley came forward with some searing criticism of Biden's recently declared reelection bid.
“He announced that he's running again in 2024, and I think that we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden, you really are counting on a President Harris, because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely,” Haley asserted.
The remarks from the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations were not particularly well received at the White House, with deputy press secretary Andrew Bates succinctly explaining, “As you know, we don't directly respond to campaigns from here.”
Bates followed up with a pointed dig at Haley's own presidential campaign, adding, “But honestly, I forgot she was running.”
Since the inception of her campaign, Haley has emphasized the need for a more youthful generation of American political leaders, even going so far as to suggest that mental competency tests should be required of candidates of more advanced age, as The Hill reported earlier this year.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley, 51, said during the official launch of her candidacy.
Haley added, “We'll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old,” a threshold that would ensnare both Biden and former President Donald Trump, were a mandate of the sort currently in effect.
Trump, for his part, has signed on to Haley's basic premises, saying earlier this year, “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.”
Not in agreement with what appear to be Haley's assumptions about the current president's age and, presumably, his cognitive status, is first lady Jill Biden, who has already dismissed the notion of a mental competency test out of hand and labeled the idea “ridiculous,” as the New York Post reported.
During an interview earlier this year with CNN's State of the Union, Mrs. Biden was asked about Haley's general thesis as well as with the suggestion that her husband was past his prime.
“How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train? Go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President Zelenskyy?” the first lady asked rhetorically to highlight her octogenarian husband's supposed vigor while on recent trips abroad.
The president himself appears uninterested in submitting to cognitive testing, particularly if results were to be released to the public, with his most recent physical examination report omitting any mention of the same.
Amid a series of recent gaffes and mental misfires on the part of the president, former White House physician-turned-Republican-congressman Ronny Jackson (TX-13) has reiterated his repeated demands for Biden to submit to cognitive testing, as the New York Post reports.
Jackson put his latest concerns in a letter, which is currently making the rounds of Republican lawmakers to gather support prior to dispatch.
“We call on you to either resign immediately and renounce your bid for reelection or submit to a clinically validated cognitive screening assessment and make those results available to the public,” Jackson wrote.
The congressman added, “Over the past two years, public appearances where you shuffle your feet, trip when you walk, slur your words, forget names, lose your train of thought, and appear momentarily confused have become more of a common occurrence,” perhaps lending support to Haley's contention that fulfilment of a putative second term is something that simply may not be within Biden's grasp.