Age and mental ability dominate the presidential campaign trail after report questioned Biden’s memory

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By Tim Reed

(Reuters) – The mental abilities and age of US presidential candidates took center stage during the election campaign on Saturday after a report indicated that President Joe Biden He was suffering from memory loss.

previous president Donald Trump He accused Biden, the Democrat he is likely to face in the general elections scheduled for November, of… Nikki HaleyTrump’s last remaining competitor for the Republican presidential nomination, because he lacks the mental capacity necessary to be president.

Haley, like Trump, while campaigning in South Carolina, where the two will meet in the February 24 primary, attacked both men, describing Trump as mentally deficient and saying Biden was too old to become president.

Meanwhile, the Biden White House, responding to a report released Thursday from a Justice Department special counsel who said Biden has a poor memory, continued its sweeping attack on Trump’s age and mental capacity after Trump recently mixed up names and made other remarks. Slips.

“Every time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he is confused, unhinged, lying, or worse,” Biden spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement released by Biden’s re-election campaign.

The issue of mental competency has become a major topic in the presidential campaign this year. Biden (81 years old) and Trump (77 years old) are the two oldest men to have been elected president respectively. In recent days, Biden has mixed up the names of some world leaders.

This issue is puzzling for Biden’s re-election campaign. In a September Reuters/Ipsos poll, 77% of respondents said they agreed with the statement that Biden is too old to work in government, while 56% said the same about Trump.

Haley, 52, called for mental competency tests for presidential candidates over the age of 75.

The issue was thrust to the forefront again after special counsel Robert Hoare, a former U.S. attorney in Maryland during the Trump administration, said in his report that he chose not to bring criminal charges against Biden after a 15-month investigation into his handling of classified documents. Because the president cooperated.

Hoare said the current Democratic president would be difficult to convict, describing him as a “well-intentioned elderly man with a weak memory” who was unable to recall to investigators what happened when he was his son. Beau BidenHe died.

Biden angrily denied Hoare’s claims about his memory, saying in a White House appearance on Thursday evening: “My memory is good.”

Trump said, during a rally in Conway, South Carolina, that the Hoare report showed that Biden is “unsuitable to serve as our commander in chief.”

Trump – who faces four state and federal criminal trials, including one on charges of mishandling classified documents – is close to winning the Republican nomination and the possibility of a runoff in the general election with Biden in November.

Haley, who has no clear path to the nomination after Trump’s successive wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, is refusing to withdraw from the race, leaving her in a potential last ditch position in her home state of South Carolina, where she trails badly in the polls. Trump card.

Trump on Saturday described his former ambassador to the United Nations as “bird-brained” and “brain-dead,” indicating that she does not have the mental capacity to enter the White House.

Haley, who began a two-week bus tour of South Carolina, described Biden as “diminished.” She also cited Trump’s recent speech where he confused her with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“This is more than just Joe Biden,” Haley told reporters. “Whether it’s Donald Trump that confuses me with Nancy Pelosi… it’s time for a new generation’s leader.”

(Reporting by Tim Reid in Washington; Additional reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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