DES MOINES, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley took a jab at President Joe Biden’s competency level Saturday, saying candidates need to approach the 2024 race as if they were running against “President Kamala Harris.”
“Anybody that thinks a vote for Biden is truly a vote for Biden is mistaken. You’re voting for Kamala Harris,” said Haley, former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the U.N., during an interview with Breitbart News at Iowa’s annual Roast and Ride.
She added, “That’s what this is. We’re running against President Kamala Harris. That’s the way we need to look at it because that’s what’s going to happen if he gets reelected again.”
Haley’s remarks came in response to a question about Biden’s recent fall at a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the latest of multiple tumbles Biden, 80, has taken while serving as president.
“None of us should be proud of what we saw. None of us should celebrate the fact that he fell, but what’s more important is, think about what China, Russia, and North Korea and Iran thought when they saw him. That’s what I worry about. They sense weakness. And he just showed weakness,” Haley said.
The South Carolina Republican also reiterated her calls for presidents, including Biden, to take a mental competency test.
“It’s exactly why we have to have a new generational leader. We have to have term limits. We have to have mental competency tests for people over the age of 75,” she said. “We can’t have these leaders that are making these big decisions not being at the top of [their] game.”
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner in the race, is 76 and would therefore also be subject to a test under Haley’s proposal.
Trump agreed with Haley in a statement on Truth Social in February, writing, “ANYBODY running for the Office of President of the United States should agree to take a full & complete Mental Competency Test.”
Last month, dozens of House Republicans called on Biden to take a cognitive test in a letter to the White House.
Biden has passed two physical exams since taking office, but, as Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), a former Trump White House doctor who led the letter, wrote, “There is no indication you have had any cognitive assessment, or if you have, such results were concealed from the public.”
First lady Jill Biden told CNN Haley’s idea was “ridiculous,” touting her husband’s lengthy international travels as evidence of his capabilities.