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Nikki Haley calls for cognitive test for older US politicians

US President Joe Biden, 78, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 81, stand together as they depart after a House Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on Friday, October 1, 2021 in Washington. (AP photo)

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has suggested that aged politicians in the American government should undergo a "cognitive test."

She was asked in an interview about her thoughts on the mental health of 78-year-old Democratic President Joe Biden, the oldest man to run the country, who seems to lose touch with reality lately.

"Well what I'll tell you is, rather than making this about a person, 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," Haley said on Thursday. 

The former South Carolina governor compared it to how lawmakers disclose their tax returns.

"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," she continued.

Haley quoted instances suggesting Biden was not completely aware of everything going on in his administration, such as the fallout with France after his administration had pushed Paris aside and signed a lucrative multi-billion nuclear deal with Australia for submarines. France accused Biden of stabbing it in the back and acting like his predecessor Donald Trump.

During a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Rome, Italy, last week Biden met with Macron and tried to calm him down. He called his administration's action "clumsy".

Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry admitted in an interview in France last month that the president "literally had not been aware of what had transpired."

"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."

On Monday, Biden was filmed snoozing as delegates spoke at the opening of an international conference in Scotland.

"Sleepy Joe" became a popular social media trend after the US president apparently dozed off at the United Nations COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

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