Nikki Haley Takes Aim at Biden and Trump’s Age with ‘Grumpy Old Men’ Campaign
Nikki Haley, a U.S. Republican primary candidate and former U.S. ambassador to the UN, has sparked controversy by promoting the slogan “Grumpy Old Men” and stirring up an age-related debate. This move is seen as a strategic attempt to target President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, both potential presidential candidates.
According to The New York Times (NYT) and Reuters, Haley’s campaign launched a campaign titled “Grumpy Old Men” on January 31 (local time) and questioned the cognitive abilities of both President Biden and former President Trump. Haley’s campaign criticized these competitors for not being more active in their campaigns and plans to release related online videos or digital ads and send emails to voters. The new campaign took its name from the 1993 comedy film directed by Donald Petrie.
Haley has been emphasizing her status as a “younger candidate” and focusing on the “age debate,” She has promoted herself as a “leader of a new generation” and has argued that candidates over 75 should undergo cognitive testing. President Biden is 81, former President Trump is 77, and Haley is 51.
Indeed, when former President Trump confused Haley with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi several times during a debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary on January 20, Haley began to target Trump with the age debate. During her campaign, Haley repeatedly asked, “Do you want to run for president with two people in their 80s?” and raised her voice, saying, “We cannot choose someone whose cognitive abilities are in doubt to handle the weight of the presidency.”
Meanwhile, while a rematch between President Biden and former President Trump in this year’s U.S. election is highly likely, a poll shows that voters view this “return match” negatively.
According to a poll conducted by Reuters and Ipsos from January 22 to 24 and announced on the 25th (1,250 respondents, margin of error ±3%), 67% said they are “tired of seeing the same candidates and want someone new.” Notably, three-quarters of all respondents agreed that President Biden, who is 81 this year, is too old to perform public duties. About half gave the same answer for former President Trump, 77.
A spokesperson for Haley’s campaign said, “About 50% of Republicans and 70% of Americans do not want to see grumpy old men staggering around in a national crisis,” and quipped, “Unlike the movie of the same name, this “Grumpy Old Men” will only bring confusion and bad feelings, not a sense of fun relief.”