Nikki Haley: Senate Is Just a 'Privileged Nursing Home'

After McConnell freeze-up, presidential contender says aging politicians need to know when to retire
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2023 6:35 AM CDT
Nikki Haley on McConnell: 'You Have to Know When to Leave'
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a fundraising event for on Aug. 6 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

As whispers continue to circulate over the future of Mitch McConnell's leadership following his second public freeze-up, Nikki Haley is saying out loud what she thinks about aging lawmakers, and when they should realize it might be time to pack it up on Capitol Hill. Appearing on Fox News' The Story on Thursday, Haley said she thought the Senate minority leader has "done some great things, and he deserves credit," but that "you have to know when to leave," per the Hill. She noted that "no one should feel good about seeing" McConnell's condition, "any more than we should feel good about seeing Dianne Feinstein, any more than we should feel good about ... seeing Joe Biden's decline." She didn't elaborate on what she meant on Biden.

She then went on to call the US Senate "the most privileged nursing home in the country." It's not the first time Haley has addressed lawmakers who are getting up there in years. In May, the former South Carolina governor penned an op-ed in which she called for required mental competency tests for all politicians 75 and over. She has also pushed for term limits for members of Congress, and she reiterated her call for both on Thursday. "I wouldn't care if they did [the mental competency tests] over the age of 50," said the 51-year-old. "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."

"You can't say that right now, looking at Congress," she added, per HuffPost. Newsweek notes that Haley called for McConnell's resignation after the first time he froze up, in late July. A poll conducted specifically for the news outlet last month found that most Americans agree with her, with 64% of eligible voters surveyed indicating they believe the Senate minority leader should call it a day. "We need to start getting new faces, new voices, younger generations involved in our government," Haley said Thursday. "And we need to have everybody else understand when it's time to go." (More Nikki Haley stories.)

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