US Senate a ‘privileged nursing home’ – Nikki Haley

The Republican presidential candidate claims aging politicians “have to know when to leave”

The former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations has called for “mental competency tests” for elderly politicians and term limits in Congress, in response to a question about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recently freezing up in public again.

“What I will say is, right now, the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country,” Nikki Haley said on Fox News on Friday. “We need to start getting new faces, new voices, younger generations involved in our government. And we need to have everybody else understand when it’s time to go.”

Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, froze up during a press conference on Wednesday and had to be led away by aides. His spokesperson claimed in a statement that McConnell “felt momentarily lightheaded and paused during his press conference.” On Thursday, McConnell’s doctor said he was “medically clear” to continue his work.

It was the second such episode in just over a month for the top Republican in the US Senate. He had frozen mid-sentence during a press conference on Capitol Hill in late July, prompting speculation of a partial seizure or a stroke. The 81-year-old Kentuckian has also suffered three falls just this year, the most serious of which resulted in a concussion and a broken rib, putting him in recovery for six weeks.

“No one should feel good about seeing that, any more than we should feel good about seeing [California Democratic Senator] Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about a lot of what’s happening or seeing [President] Joe Biden’s decline,” Haley added.

As the oldest-serving senator at the age of 90, Feinstein has also suffered declining health. After returning to office following a two-month break due to a shingles diagnosis, she has appeared disoriented on more than one occasion. Concerns have also been raised for the 80-year-old Biden, the oldest US leader to hold the office. Since taking power in 2021, Biden’s age has come under the media spotlight several times, including after multiple falls, as well as frequent verbal gaffes.

Republican presidential nomination candidate, 51-year-old Nikki Haley, went on to say that “we do need mental competency tests for anyone over the age of 75, I wouldn’t care if they did them over the age of 50.”

“These are people making decisions on our national security. They’re making decisions on our economy, on the border. We need to know they’re at the top of their game,” she reasoned.

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