Nikki Haley Predicts Joe Biden Will Die Within Five Years

Haley's grim prophecy foreshadows what's likely to be a major Republican attack on the 80-year-old president.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley delivers a campaign policy speech on abortion in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley delivers a campaign policy speech on abortion in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday.

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley has emphasized yet another reason that people should not vote for Joe Biden in 2024: He won’t be alive in five years.

Haley, 51, who has previously suggested there should be age limits and competency tests for the presidency, made the grisly prediction Wednesday on Fox News, arguing not that it would be sad for the nation if the president were to die of an age-related illness in office but that a vote for Biden is effectively a vote for Kamala Harris if that were to happen.

“He announced that he’s running again in 2024, and I think that we can all be very clear and say with a matter of fact that if you vote for Joe Biden you really are counting on a President Harris, because the idea that he would make it until 86 years old is not something that I think is likely,” said Haley, referring to the age Biden would be in 2028.

Haley’s remark comes the day after Biden, the oldest president in U.S. history, launched his reelection bid with a fiery rebuke of MAGA Republicans and campaign merchandise that featured a popular meme of Biden as an octogenarian fighter with glowing red eyes.

Aside from his advanced age, there’s no reason to believe that Biden will actually be dead in five years. The president, who has already outlived the average American by about three years, got a clean bill of health in February and exercises five days a week, according to his doctor. Biden’s most serious ailments are acid reflux and a stiffening gait.

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

Haley’s comments are a grimmer and more frank version of the attack Republicans are expected to deploy relentlessly over the course of Biden’s reelection, suggesting the 80-year-old is simply too elderly to be president — despite being only four years older than Donald Trump.

The attacks also serve to elevate Harris, a figure who is marginally less popular than Biden and whom the GOP is eager to criticize. While Republicans have struggled at times to demonize Biden, Harris is a more natural target for the racial and gender-based grievances animating their core voters.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is considering a run for the GOP nomination, made a similar argument at an event in New Hampshire this month, telling town hall attendees a vote for Trump would amount to backing Harris, since Biden would beat Trump before presumably dying in office.

“A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for Kamala Harris,” Christie said, according to The New York Times. (Christie has famously struggled with his own health, undergoing lap-band surgery in 2013.)

Republicans, meanwhile, are hesitant to go after Trump for his own advanced age. The former president, who is overweight and known to indulge in fast food, became ill enough with coronavirus in 2020 that he required oxygen and hospitalization, putting former Vice President Mike Pence perilously close to the presidency.

Biden, appearing at a press conference alongside South Korean President Yoon Suk-Yeol at the White House on Wednesday, addressed his advanced age for the first time since announcing his reelection, saying he “took a hard look” at his own age before pulling the trigger on a campaign. (In 2019, Biden offered to wrestle a reporter who questioned his age.)

“When I guess how old I am, I can’t even say the number. It doesn’t register with me,” Biden told reporters. “People are going to see a race, and they’re going to judge whether I have it or don’t have it. I respect them taking a hard look at it, I’d take a hard look at it, and I took a hard look at it before I decided to run. I feel good, and I’m excited about the prospects.”

Polling indicates concerns over Biden’s age are a major factor driving dissatisfaction with his performance as president. An NBC News survey, released Sunday, found 70% of Americans did not want Biden to run for a second term, while just 26% wanted him to run again.

Among those who said they did not want Biden to run again, a plurality of 48% said his age was a major factor, while 21% said it was a minor factor. Just 29% said it was not part of their reason to oppose a bid for a second term.

Concerns about Biden’s age and acuity extend into the Democratic Party. Just 56% of Democrats said Biden was “mentally sharp” in a Pew Research Center survey earlier this month. Only 31% of adults overall described him that way.

A Suffolk University/USA Today poll from December, meanwhile, found most Americans think the best age for a president is between 51 and 65 years old. But there’s little evidence that concerns about age override partisanship or other factors.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who fended off concerns about her advanced age from fellow Democrats for years, said yesterday the party would be able to quickly get past their concerns over Biden’s age.

“Yes, they’d rather he be younger,” Pelosi, 83, said at a Time magazine event. “But they’re all for him.”

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