Though questions about her husband's mental status have long plagued the White House, first lady Jill Biden has declared the notion that presidential candidates over a certain again undergo cognitive testing to be “ridiculous” and dismissed it out of hand, as the New York Post reports.
Mrs. Biden's remarks came during an interview on CNN's State of the Union in which she was asked about the idea of candidate testing, which has gained traction in certain circles of late.
The concept of compelled cognitive evaluation of presidential hopefuls, particularly those of more advanced age, made headlines last month when former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley threw her hat in the ring for the Republican nomination in 2024, as The Hill noted at the time.
During her campaign kickoff event, Haley endorsed mental competency testing for politicians of a certain age, a demographic group that would include Biden, 80, as well as fellow GOP candidate and former president, Donald Trump.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” said Haley “We'll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Evidently unafraid of submitting to whatever cognitive testing might come his way, Trump indicated his general agreement with Haley's premise in a post on his Truth Social platform.
“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 wrote.
The former commander-in-chief continued, “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.”
Not in agreement, however, is Mrs. Biden, who declared the very idea of mental competency testing for presidential candidates to be “ridiculous,” and something she and her husband would “never even discuss.”
Taking issue with the suggestion that her husband may be well past his prime and hindered in his ability to carry out his duties, Jill Biden offered the president's recent trans-Atlantic travel as evidence of his vigor, as the Post noted.
“How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train? Go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President Zelensky?" asked the first lady.
Continuing her defense of her husband's capacity, Jill Biden added, “So, look at the man. Look what he's doing. Look what he continues to do each and every day.”
However, to some critics, it is precisely the things Biden is doing each and every day that underscores the need for testing Haley and Trump suggest, with former White House physician-turned-congressman Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) noting, “There's really no question in most people's minds that there's something going on with him, that he's not cognitively the same as he used to be.
Given Biden's history of gaffes, mental misfires, and repeated stumbles on the steps up to Air Force One, it stands to reason that millions of Americans likely come down on the side of Trump and Haley on this issue and believe that perhaps the first lady doth protest too much.