Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

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“Are we really going to go and have two 80-year-olds running for president?” Haley asked in an interview

This combination of images shows former US president Donald Trump and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. — Reuters/Files
This combination of images shows former US president Donald Trump and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley. — Reuters/Files

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley criticised Donald Trump’s mental fitness after he falsely accused her of failing to stop the violent assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, confusing her with then-House speaker Nancy Pelosi during a campaign event.

Referring to the January 6 insurrection by a mob of his supporters, the 77-year-old former president mentioned his rival’s name repeatedly and told a crowd: “Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people — soldiers, National Guard, whatever they want — they turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that.”

Haley, who is Trump’s top rival in the New Hampshire contest, pointed out that not only was she not in charge of security at the Capitol, she was not even in office at the time, CNN reported.

“They’re saying he got confused, he was talking about something else,” the former UN ambassador and South Carolina governor said at a New Hampshire rally.

“The concern I have is, I’m not saying anything derogatory, but when you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this.”

In a Fox News interview, Haley, who turned 52 on Saturday, emphasised that political candidates over 75 should pass a mental competency test.

“We need people at the top of their game,” Haley said in a Fox News interview Saturday. “I’m not saying that this is a Joe Biden situation, but I’m saying, are we really going to go and have two 80-year-olds running for president?”

Trump’s claim that Pelosi or Haley declined an offer of help during the Capitol siege raised questions, but the House committee investigating the January 6 incident found no evidence of such an offer.

Critics argue that Trump is ageing, although he addressed the question earlier in the week claiming to have “aced” a test of acuity by correctly identifying animals.

However, this issue has not caused significant harm to Trump. More voters have expressed concern about Biden’s age and fitness, and Trump remains the overwhelming favourite among Republicans, as he dominated in Iowa’s presidential caucuses.

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