Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has once again called for "mental competency tests" for aging US leaders following Senator Mitch McConnell's recent lapses during news conferences. McConnell, who is 81 years old, experienced a 30-second freeze when asked about his re-election campaign. This incident follows a similar lapse that occurred in July. Despite being medically cleared to work, Haley has raised concerns about McConnell's health and questioned his ability to lead. She argues that mental competency tests should be implemented for anyone over the age of 75, or even 50.
Haley, a former UN Ambassador and South Carolina governor, is the highest-ranking Republican to express concerns about McConnell's health. She has focused her presidential campaign on the need for a new generation of leaders, highlighting that the average age for members of the US Senate is 65. Other politicians have also weighed in on the issue, with Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene stating that McConnell is "not fit for office" and Democratic congressman Dean Phillips calling for term limits for members of Congress and the Supreme Court.
However, President Biden has expressed confidence in McConnell's ability to fulfill his duties, stating that McConnell was "his old self" when they spoke on the telephone. McConnell has led the Senate Republicans since 2006 and is known for his political tactics in keeping his party members in line. While some members of McConnell's caucus have not publicly questioned his ability to lead, they have the option to discuss the matter when the Senate reconvenes next week.
McConnell's recent lapses have raised concerns about the mental fitness of aging politicians, and the issue of age and leadership has become a topic of debate in the US. As the discussion continues, it remains to be seen whether any concrete actions will be taken to address these concerns.