Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday mocked Congress as the “most privileged nursing home” in the United States in her repeated call for term limits and mental competency tests for elected officials older than a certain age.
“Don’t you think it’s finally time we had term limits in Washington, D.C.?” Haley said during a rally in Conway, S.C., on Sunday. “Don’t you think we need to have mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75?”
“Now let me say this, I’m not being disrespectful when I say that. We all know 75-year-olds that can run circles around us,” she continued. “And then we know Joe Biden, Congress has become the most privileged nursing home in the country,” prompting laughs from those in the audience.
Haley said it is important American voters know that those who make decisions on the future of the economy and national security are “at the top of their game.”
Haley, a former United Nations ambassador, has repeatedly taken aim at her political opponents’ ages, including President Biden, who is 81 and the oldest sitting U.S. president, and former President Trump, who is 77.
Haley, 52, in September argued for a “younger generation” of congressional leaders following an incident when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to freeze up while addressing reporters. Haley at the time said it is not a problem isolated to one party, but is it a “congressional problem” on both sides of the aisle.
Her calls for mental competency tests were renewed last week after Trump appeared to mix Haley up for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) when discussing the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Shortly after the mix-up, Haley suggested the former president’s mental fitness is “not at the same level” as it was when he won the White House in 2016.
A day later, Trump claimed he would beat Haley on a cognitive test.
Trump holds a nearly 57-point lead over Haley in national polling, according to an aggregation of polls by The Hill and Decision Desk HQ. Despite the early losses, Haley has maintained she intends to stay in the race as Trump’s main challenger until at least Super Tuesday.
Haley, however, sidestepped questions earlier Sunday about whether a win in her home state of South Carolina is “do or die.” According to a polling index by The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Haley trails Trump in the South Carolina primary race by about 31 points.
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