The exchange of fire between Republican candidates for the White House increased a few days out from the New Hampshire primaries on Saturday when Nikki Haley suggested that Donald Trump is not “mentally fit” for the presidency.
After sweeping the Iowa caucuses, Trump is the big favorite in the New Hampshire race, but Haley’s campaign has focused on the state to try to close the gap and establish herself as the alternative within the Republican Party.
A poll released Saturday by Suffolk University and the Boston Globe put Trump in the lead with 53 percent of the vote, followed by his former US ambassador to the United Nations Haley with 36 percent, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with 7 percent.
In a meeting with voters, Haley raised her tone against her opponent and questioned whether 77-year-old Trump is “mentally fit” to run the country.
In a campaign speech the previous night, the former president had wrongly asserted Haley was in control of Capitol security during the 2021 assault, confusing her several times with former house speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario. The concern I have is — I’m not saying anything derogatory — but when you’re dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this,” said Haley, 52.
Trump responded at an election rally in Manchester, where he claimed hi s mind is better than ever.
“I feel my mind is stronger now than it was 25 years ago. Is that possible?” he asked to applause.
Other criticisms were made throughout the day. Haley warned at a rally in Nashua that chaos follows the former president and that the country cannot afford four more years of it.
Trump also attacked the moderate positions of Haley, whom he called “weak” regarding border policy, and accused her of being supported by Democratic voters.
On Friday, Trump suggested that he will not pick Haley as his running mate if he wins the nomination, and she said she does not want to be a vice president.
The other candidate, Ron DeSantis, who has little chance in New Hampshire, campaigned Saturday in South Carolina, the state of which Haley was governor and which will hold Republican primaries on Feb. 24.
This race has historically had great media and political importance, since it serves as a barometer to measure the strength of the different candidates.
This year, however, the traditional televised debates will not be held. Trump has refused to debate anyone and Haley canceled her participation in the debate with DeSantis in an attempt to belittle the Floridian’s candidacy.
By Usmana kousar