First Lady Jill Biden is brushing off concerns about President Joe Biden’s mental fitness, calling them “ridiculous”.
During an interview on CNN, which will air in full on Monday night as part of a forthcoming special event, “CNN Primetime: Jill Biden Abroad”, the first lady sat down at Camp David with host Rita Braver. Jill Biden defended her husband against criticism from some that he is not mentally fit to be president.
“Nikki Haley, one of the Republican candidates, is calling for mental competency tests for those politicians over the age of 75. What do you think about that?” the host asked.
“It’s ridiculous”, Jill Biden replied.
“Would your husband ever take one of those?”
“I mean, we haven’t even discussed…” Jill Biden responded defensively. “We would never even discuss something like that. How many 30-year-olds could travel to Poland, get on the train? Go nine more hours, go to Ukraine, meet with President (Volodymyr) Zelensky? So, look at the man. Look what he’s doing. Look what he continues to do each and every day”.
Jill Biden’s comments were in response to Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley recently calling for politicians over the age of 75 to undergo mental capacity tests.
During a speech last month announcing her 2024 presidential campaign, Haley called for “generational change”.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire”, said Haley, who served as UN ambassador during Donald Trump’s presidency and was the governor of South Carolina prior to that. “We’ll have term limits for Congress. And mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old”.
“We’re ready. 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,” she told the crowd gathered in Charleston, South Carolina. “America is not past our prime,” she added. “It’s just that our politicians are past theirs”.
ICYMI: Most Americans support Nikki Haley’s proposed competency test for politicians over 75https://t.co/v11kcmgrFj
— Team Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaleyHQ) March 6, 2023
Last week, Haley reiterated that same argument.
“Our cause is right, but we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans”, she said. “Well, that ends today. If you’re tired of losing, put your trust in a new generation. And if you want to win not just as a party but as a country, stand with me. Every day we’re told America is flawed, rotten, and full of hate. Joe and Kamala even say America is racist. Nothing could be further from the truth. The American people know better. My immigrant parents know better”.
“All kidding aside, this is not about identity politics. I don’t believe in that. And I don’t believe in glass ceilings, either”, Haley said. “I believe in creating a country where anyone can do anything and achieve their own American dream”.
Polling seems to corroborate Haley’s point about Americans wanting a new direction moving forward.
A brand new Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that a majority of registered voters believe President Biden is “too old for another term” in office.
Almost seven out of 10 voters (68%) admitted that the 80-year-old president’s age is a problem for them.
Even worse, the poll shows more Democrats agree rather with that assessment. Roughly 48% of Democrat voters said Biden’s age is an issue, with just 34% saying the president’s age was not a concern for them.
The New York Post detailed more of the findings from the poll:
Eighteen percent of Democrats polled were not sure if Biden was too old for another term. Already the oldest president in US history, Biden would be 86 by the end of his second term if he were to win re-election in 2024.
A majority of independents, 71%, also said that age 82 was too old to start a second term as president, which is how old Biden would be on his second Inauguration Day. Biden has not formally declared that he will run for a second term but he has said on several occasions that he intends to seek re-election.
In early February, an AP-NORC poll found that Biden only has support from 37 percent of Democrats for a second term. Prior to the midterms last November, the same poll found that 52 percent wanted Biden to run again in 2024.
“While Biden has trumpeted his legislative victories and ability to govern, the poll suggests relatively few US adults give him high marks on either. Follow-up interviews with poll respondents suggest that many believe the 80-year-old’s age is a liability, with people focused on his coughing, his gait, his gaffes, and the possibility that the world’s most stressful job would be better suited for someone younger”, the Associated Press reported.
Biden has said he intends to run for re-election but has yet to make a formal announcement.
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