First lady Dr. Jill Biden scorned the prospect of her husband, President Joe Biden, taking a competency test for elderly politicians.
During an interview, Biden called the proposal by Nikki Haley, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, a “ridiculous” idea.
“We would never even discuss something like that,” she added when asked if her husband would consider such a test, according to CNN.
First lady Jill Biden dismisses Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s calls for mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75 https://t.co/nrIHMlR3UM pic.twitter.com/C1bbTIEP4i
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 3, 2023
At 80, Joe Biden is already the oldest person to be president. Concerns have been raised in recent years about Biden’s physical fitness and mental acuity, even among those in his own party, spurred by moments in which the president has tripped or fumbled his words.
Haley appeared to take aim at Biden as well as former President Donald Trump, under whom she served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, last month with a push for younger leaders.
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said at a rally kicking off her campaign. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
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One elder statesman who has also run for president, 81-year-old Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), responded to Haley’s proposal by calling it “absurd” and encouraging people to fight against ageism.
Joe Biden says he intends to run for a second term but has yet to make such a decision official.
White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in a memo following a physical last month that the commander-in-chief “remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency.”
Jill Biden, a longtime teacher who received a Doctor of Education in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, told CNN she is “all for” another bid.
“It’s Joe’s decision,” she said. “And we support whatever he wants to do. If he’s in, we’re there. If he wants to do something else, we’re there too.”