Mike Pence opposes testing mental competence of White House hopefuls

Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence said that he disagrees with Republican presidential candidate Nimarata Randhawa Haley’s latest calls for politicians to take mental competency tests, saying that U.S. citizens “can sort that out.”

Republicans in particular have repeatedly questioned Biden’s cognitive state, seizing on a series of gaffes to argue that he’s not mentally fit to serve in the White House.

Pence told CBS News political correspondent Caitlin Huey-Burns that he is “confident” U.S. citizens will choose the best candidate based on what they bring to the table.

“Look, I think the American people can sort that out, I really do,” said Pence, who is weighing a presidential bid himself. “I mean, the long and unbroken history of this country proves again and again, the wisdom and common sense and judgment of the American people.”

Haley, who announced her 2024 presidential campaign last month, made headlines after she called for mandatory “mental competency tests” for politicians older than 75 while speaking at a rally in her home state of South Carolina.

Speaking at a rally in Charleston, S.C., kicking off her 2024 White House bid, Haley promised to impose mandatory cognitive tests on older officeholders that underscored the central message of her campaign: that the United States needs a younger leader after previously electing two of the oldest men to ever occupy the White House.

“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Haley’s remarks led to criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders, who called the former United Nations ambassador’s proposal “absurd.”

Hypothetically assuming each was elected president, Trump would be 78 by the time he’d be sworn in again, Biden would be 82, while Sanders would be 83.

Asked if President Joe Biden is mentally and physically well to serve as president, Pence replied that his problems with Biden are his administration’s failed policies, citing ongoing issues such as border/immigration and inflation.

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