Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley renewed her challenge to former President Trump Wednesday to get on stage and debate her, after he has repeatedly declined to debate his primary rivals.
Haley, during a rally in South Carolina, pointed to Trump’s recent claim he would score higher on a mental competency test than Haley, who has called for such tests for anyone over the age of 75.
“And so, he got upset and said that he would take one [a mental competency test], and challenge me to one and that he would beat me. Maybe he would, maybe he wouldn’t. But what I said was ‘okay, if that’s the case, then get on a debate stage and let’s go,’” she continued. “Bring it Donald, show me what you got,” Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said.
The topic of Trump’s mental fitness was brought up moments before, when Haley discussed rump’s apparent mix-up last week, in which he purportedly mixed her name up with that of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) when discussing the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
The remarks sparked increased scrutiny over Trump’s mental competency, including from Haley, who suggested the former president’s mental fitness is “not at the same level” as it was when he won the White House in 2016.
“Even on that day when he was going on and on about Jan. 6, you know we talked about [how] he was having a moment, he was confused, but it also goes back to why I’ve continued to push for a mental competency test for anyone over the age of 75,” Haley said Wednesday.
Haley is 52, over two decades younger than Trump, who is 77.
Trump did not attend any of the GOP primary debates in recent months, often citing his comfortable lead in the polls as a reason not to attend.
His absence did not appear to hurt his standing in the polls so far. Trump beat Haley, his remaining challenger, in New Hampshire by nearly 11 points and won by nearly 30 points in last week’s Iowa caucuses.
Despite the early losses, Haley has maintained he intends to stay in the race and has her eyes set on her home state of South Carolina, which will hold its primary at the end of February.
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