On Tuesday (February 21), newly-minted Presidential candidate Nikki Haley defended her call for mental competency tests — in surprisingly personal terms.
At a campaign event, Haley explained that one of the critics of the mental competency tests — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — is “exactly the reason we need it.”
Sanders, 81, described Haley’s calls for mental competency tests for politicians over 75 as “nothing more than old-fashioned ageism” and “not acceptable” in an interview with Stephen Colbert on CBS’s “Late Show.”
Answering the final question from a campaign event in Marion, Iowa, Haley said Sanders “lost his mind” because of her request, adding, “He is exactly the reason we need it.”
As the crowd laughed, Haley unpromptedly widened her critique, adding Democrats Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA.) and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA.), two veteran Congresswomen.
Haley noted that “Whoopi Goldberg lost her mind” over the comments, referencing comments Goldberg made on ABC’s “The View,” adding that the talk show host was “glorifying Dianne Feinstein and Maxine Waters,” who she added “are exactly the reason we need it.”
Feinstein, an 89-year-old who has had her mental acuity questioned, recently announced she would be retiring, prompting a race to replace her.
Haley’s comments about mental tests for aging politicians have drawn fresh attention to mental testing, keeping her in the news since she had an impressive campaign rollout.
During the campaign event, Haley also spoke highly of former President Donald Trump, explaining that she called him before launching her campaign.