With less than 48 hours to go before the New Hampshire primary, it sounds as if Nikki Haley is getting a bit desperate in her bid to unseat Donald Trump as the GOP frontrunner. Speaking at a campaign stop yesterday, Haley invoked Trump’s speech from Friday night where he appeared to confuse her with someone else. She suggested that “we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this.” It was an obvious shot at the age and cognitive abilities of both Biden and Trump. It was kind of a low blow, but to be fair, Trump actually did offer her an opening and she decided to take it. The longer-term consequences might wind up being serious, however. (Associated Press)
Nikki Haley on Saturday questioned whether Donald Trump is mentally capable of serving as president again after he repeatedly seemed to confuse her with former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a campaign speech.
As she campaigned in Keene, New Hampshire, Haley referenced Trump’s speech the night before, in which he mistakenly asserted that Haley was in charge of Capitol security on , when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the building seeking to stop the certification of his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump first said that Haley turned down security offered by his administration on Jan. 6 and then again mentioned Haley, adding, “They destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence, everything, deleted and destroyed all of it.”
We should first go back and see exactly how serious Trump’s mistake was on Friday. He was talking about the Capitol Hill riot of 2021 and the lack of an adequate security response. He has previously pointed out that his administration offered extra security for Congress that day, but Nancy Pelosi declined to accept it. But on Friday, he said that “Haley” had refused. In fact, he invoked her name a couple of times.
It was definitely a gaffe, but was it really all that serious to the point where we should be questioning Trump’s cognitive abilities? Given his ongoing court cases, he no doubt has January 6th on his mind. And he’s fighting for another big win in New Hampshire where Haley appears to be his only significant challenger, so she is no doubt in his head also. It’s probably an understandable error under the circumstances, but I suppose we can keep track and see if it starts happening more often.
Given how badly she’s trailing nationally and in nearly every state, it seems unwise for Nikki Haley to be lobbing these types of bombs over the fence at Trump. What if he winds up being the nominee, as most observers are predicting? Is she somehow insinuating that Joe Biden might be the better choice in terms of cognitive strength? It was only Friday when Biden stood on stage and asked about someone whom he had “just taken a picture with” before realizing that the person hadn’t even been at the event. I suppose that’s better than asking someone to stand up who was literally dead, but it’s still pretty bad.
I really don’t like seeing Nikki Haley leaving little breadcrumbs like this for Democrats to pick up and run with in the general election. One of the greatest arguments Trump has going for him is Joe Biden’s increasingly serious cognitive decline and inability to function in such a stressful job. He doesn’t need Biden’s team going out and saying, “Well, your own UN Secretary says that you’re losing it too!”
I don’t know what happened with Trump on Friday night. His surrogates wrote it off by saying that there really wasn’t any difference between Haley and Pelosi, but that’s not a great cover line. But most every time I’ve seen Donald Trump speaking over the past year, he seems sharp, focused, and full of energy, no matter what time of day it is. He stays on topic and gives lengthy, detailed answers to any questions that are fired at him. We all make the occasional verbal gaffe, but Trump doesn’t seem prone to them. Joe Biden is the polar opposite.