Election 2020

Trump Wants to Challenge Joe Biden to Take a Cognitive Exam, and It's an Epic Idea

AP Photo, File

If you’ve ever watched Joe Biden speak, it’s quite clear that he’s not exactly all there. Despite the apparent impairment of his mental faculties, he’s managed to secure the Democratic nomination over his so-called electability. But, did Democrat primary voters overlook his cognitive decline because they were too focused on his perceived electability over his primary opponents? It’s a question worth asking because Joe Biden constantly gives us more reason to ask, and according to a report from the Washington Post, President Trump thinks that Biden should take a simple cognitive test—just like the one he aced in 2018.

According to the Washington Post, during a meeting that took place in early June about his reelection campaign, the ten-minute exam came up and Trump expressed his belief that Joe Biden would never be able to pass it and suggested that he should publicly challenge Joe Biden to take the same test.

Last week, the Trump campaign launched the microsite Barely There Biden, showcasing the many examples of the former vice president being incoherent or forgetting basic information.

Former members of Bernie Sanders’ campaign have suggested that “something might happen at the convention” to prevent Biden from becoming the Democrats’ actual nominee over the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations, or perhaps his mental decline.

With ample documentation suggesting that Joe Biden isn’t mentally fit to serve as president of the United States, it’s actually quite reasonable to ask Biden to take one. He won’t, of course. President Trump has previously accused Biden of hiding from voters to keep his cognitive decline out of sight. He’s also challenged Biden to an expanded debate schedule, something that one would think such a seasoned politician would welcome, but the Biden campaign rejected the challenge, agreeing to only the traditional three debates. They suggested that calls for more than three was a distraction.

Should Trump publicly challenge Biden to take a cognitive exam? The voters deserve to know if Biden is mentally fit enough to serve as president, and the best evidence we have of this are his seemingly endlessly gaffes, and I would assume that’s not what Biden wants us to judge his mental fitness on. So Biden would be in a bit of a pickle if Trump did make the challenge—though it would leave open the possibility that Biden could say he’d only take the exam if Trump released his tax returns. There is no constitutional requirement for either, though one would think that passing a simple cognitive exam is far more important than tax returns when it comes to being president. Ultimately, Trump making such a challenge would be a win-win scenario for him. It’s unlikely such an exam, if Biden took it, would reflect well on him. Refusal to take it would suggest he has something to hide.

So, bring it on, Trump! Make the challenge. I’ll have the popcorn ready.


Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis