Nikki Haley’s jab at US gerontocracy trashed over ableism, hypocrisy & ignorance

Follow RT on Donald Trump’s former UN ambassador Nikki Haley has suggested politicians over a certain age should undergo a cognitive test before running for a senior office, prompting an outpouring of criticism and mockery.

Haley floated the idea when asked about President Joe Biden’s mental state and apparently cognitive lapses, which have been a recurring target for his Republican critics. Speaking about what image the US leader was projecting due to such instances, Haley suggested screening all candidates for top offices in the country for cognitive capacity.

“Just like you have to show your tax returns, you should have some sort of health screening so that people have faith in what you’re doing,” she said on Christian Broadcasting Network news show The Water Cooler. A clip from the upcoming interview was posted by host David Brody on Thursday.

NEW! @NikkiHaley tells me Joe Biden's mental state, "makes everyone nervous." She calls for mental health screening of all older politicians. "Let's face it: we've got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that's not being disrespectful. That's a fact."

— David Brody (@DBrodyReports) November 4, 2021

“Right now, let’s face it, we’ve got a lot of people in leadership positions that are old. And that’s not being disrespectful. That’s a fact,” Haley added.

At age 78, Biden is the oldest serving US president. His predecessor, Donald Trump, was 74 when he left office – and would be 78 during the 2024 election campaign if he runs again.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is 81, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is 79. So the claim that the US has turned into a gerontocracy is valid to some degree.

Haley, 49, argued that the issue of cognitive capacity “shouldn’t be partisan” before questioning Biden’s behavior, suggesting he is not “with it” and is giving signals that his administration’s decisions are being taken by someone else.

Trump’s mental health was likewise put under a microscope by his Democratic critics during his term. His boastful remarks about “acing” the Montreal Cognitive Assessment were targeted with a barrage of mockery, exemplified by comedian Sarah Cooper’s lip-synching parody.

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Haley’s suggestion received quite partisan treatment online too. Many of the negative responses focused on her role in the Trump administration and her suspected ambition of becoming the GOP nominee in 2024. One sarcastic commenter suggested Haley had two personalities: one personality “dedicated to Trump” while the other “wants him to take a cognitive test.”

Nikki Haley has multiple personality disorder. One minute you’re talking to Nikki and the next it’s Haley. One is dedicated to Trump and the other wants him to take a cognitive test.

— Tim Hannan (@TimHannan) November 5, 2021

Nikki Haley says that older candidates running for President shouldn't have three wives, bankrupt casinos, and mushroom penises. She thinks that they should be more like President Trump.

— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) November 5, 2021

Many commenters took issue with her reference to tax returns. Disclosing them is not mandated by law for presidential candidates, but is simply a tradition which Trump blatantly snubbed. Digging for the elusive financial papers was a significant part of the ‘Russiagate’ saga, as people accusing Trump of colluding with Moscow speculated that a solid money connection could be unearthed in his tax returns.

Nikki Haley says older candidates running for office should have to take a cognitive test, “Just like you have to show your tax returns”. Except, you don’t have to show your tax returns, ask Trump. Maybe Nikki Haley needs to take a cognitive test.

— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) November 5, 2021

Some people found Haley’s suggestion distasteful, especially since it appeared as a de facto attack on Biden, even though she touted it as non-partisan.

I hated when Democrats did ableist garbage against Trump and I sure as hell hate it when Nikki Haley does it now that Joe Biden is president but didn’t do it with Trump.

— Eric Michael Garcia (@EricMGarcia) November 5, 2021

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