Nikki Haley Thinks Older Politicians Should Have To Undergo Cognitive Testing To Stay In Office

She might have a point.

Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Joe Biden Evan El-Ami / a katz / NumenaStudios/ Shutterstock 

Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and United States Ambassador to the UN for two years, weighed in on an age-old debate regarding the livelihood of some of the country’s older politicians.

Our last two presidents have been the oldest presidents to ever take office — Donald Trump was 70 years old while Joe Biden currently sits at 78.

Should older politicians have to undergo cognitive testing?

In an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, Haley was asked what she thought about Biden and his mental wellbeing.


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“What about his mental health? I mean, look, it’s a legitimate topic of conversation,” Brody inquired. “I’ve been saying for a while, why’s the press not demanding what his current mental health records are? Do you have concerns about his mental health?”


Brody said this in reference to the 78-year-old incumbent president, Biden, who is often seen falling asleep in press conferences and hearings.

"Well what I'll tell you is, rather than making this about a person,” Haley emphasized, “we seriously need to have a conversation that if you're gonna have anyone above a certain age in a position of power — whether it's the House, whether it's the Senate, whether it's vice president, whether it's president — you should have some sort of cognitive test."

The average age of US politicians is increasing.

Ever since the early 1980s, American leaders have been getting older, and older — and I don’t just mean they’re having a birthday every year, I mean the people getting elected keep getting older.

The average age for a member of Congress when Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 was 49.5 years old. Compare that to the current, 117th United States Congress whose average age is 59 years old.


"And 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, 49, added.

"And when it comes to that, this shouldn't be partisan. We should seriously be looking at the ages of the people that are running our country and understand if that's what we want."

Older doesn’t always necessarily mean wiser, and it’s something that should be seriously talked about as we enter one of the most divisive times in U.S. political history, following the aftermath of a Trump presidency and the COVID-19 Pandemic which continues to rage on.

Haley pointed out several instances in which it seemed like Biden wasn’t completely aware of what was going on in the world around him, one of which involved international relations.


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A security partnership between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia was finalized earlier last month and failed to include the French government — a move that made them angry.

So angry, in fact, that they went as far as to make the unprecedented move of pulling its ambassador from the U.S., and the country's minister of foreign affairs called it a “stab in the back.”

Why did we leave France out of it? Well, Joe Biden doesn’t really know.

John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, said in an interview last month with BFMTV that Biden “literally had not been aware of what had transpired," but that he is “very committed to strengthening the relationship and making sure that this is a small event of the past and moving on to the much more important future.”


Not the best move from someone in charge of one of the most powerful countries in the world.

"He can't act like he doesn't know something," Haley said. "Because every time he acts like he doesn't know something from 'OK, they tell me to call on these reporters,' you know, he keeps giving signals that he's not with us. So it's not people hating on Biden, it's Biden really showing the country that he's not totally in charge, and that makes everyone nervous."

But she’s entirely right and it shouldn’t only be reserved for the presidency — every position from the House of Representatives to Congress to Senate and even the Supreme Court.


People want to make sure that the leaders representing them are of sound mind and body, and aren’t falling asleep during meetings with world leaders, is that too much to ask?

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.