Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 51, announced her presidential campaign on Feb. 14, and she’s called for “mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75.”
After this bold announcement, Haley invited consideration from both sides… and she earned some unlikely defenders in the liberal media.
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Some elderly voters have hesitated to endorse Haley’s call for cognitive tests on elderly politicians.
Richard Ploss, 71, of New Hampshire, described a cognitive exam as “a little over the top. He spoke more favorably about Haley’s call for term limits.
“I do like Nikki’s platform, her plank regarding term limits,” Ploss told Politico after Haley’s town hall in the Granite State. “I think that’s important.”
More than half of Americans support an age limit for elected officials, according to a YouGov poll from January 2022.
Haley has endorsed some number of term limits for the U.S. Congress. “We’ll see the permanent politician finally retire,” Haley said. “We’ll have term limits for Congress. And mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
Take a look —
Nikki Haley Wants ‘Mental Competency Tests’ For Politicians Over 75
“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire. We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”
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— Tara Fairweather (@TaraFair45) February 19, 2023
One GOP strategist expressed concern about Haley’s potential to alienate seniors.
“I just feel like the competency test was a gimmick to get attention and one that ultimately could backfire, because arguably, the largest voting bloc in the Republican primary is older voters,” strategist Mike Dennehy told the outlet. “New Hampshire’s population has been aging over the last decade. There are more and more older people coming to New Hampshire to retire.”
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Haley’s supporters have compared the proposed tests to the routine tests given to nearly all seniors at the doctor’s office.
“When 81-year-old Bernie Sanders is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, it’s not too much to have him take a 10-minute test to see whether he has the mental ability to draw a clock or identify an animal,” Nachama Soloveichik, one of Haley’s advisers, said in a statement. “We’re not talking rocket science here.”
Haley herself has claimed to be shooting for “transparency… not being disrespectful.”
Former President Donald Trump, 76, partially agrees with Haley. In fact, he even called for a cognitive exam on all presidential candidates, regardless of age.
“ANYBODY running for the Office of President of the United States should agree to take a full & complete Mental Competency Test,” Trump said on his Truth Social.
Haley has seen her popularity skyrocket with Republicans, despite this bold call for cognitive exams.
In this month’s Morning Consult poll, 62 percent of Republican primary voters reportedly held favorable opinions of Haley. In the previous poll, that number was only 45 percent.
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Haley has even earned some unlikely defenders.
Some liberals have been slamming Nimarata Nikki Haley for going by her middle name, and CNN’s Jake Tapper distanced himself from them.
“These are the same people who objected to whenever Republicans would say Barack Hussein Obama,” Tapper reportedly said. “I mean, there is a very ugly sign of the left that comes out when Nikki Haley runs for office.”
However, Haley has been struggling to translate favorability into votes. Only 6 percent of Republican primary voters intended to vote for Haley in the primary cycle. That’s only a 3-point increase from the previous poll, despite the 17-point increase in favorability.
The Horn editorial team