The presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden clarified that he has not taken a cognitive test, arguing against his need for one as President Donald Trump continues to attack his mental capabilities.
“No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?” Biden said during an interview with the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists that’s set to air in full on Thursday.
“Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?” Biden said, becoming testy with the reporter, CBS’s Errol Barnett, who asked whether he had taken a cognitive test.
At a campaign event in June, when asked by a reporter if he has been tested for any sort of cognitive decline, Biden said he’s “been tested and I’m constantly tested” as it relates to his cognitive abilities. Biden’s advisers say he was referring to the everyday rigors of a campaign.
“I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,” Biden said then.
Amid questions about his own mental and cognitive capability, Trump has bragged about acing a cognitive test. In 2018, the President’s then-physician Ronny Jackson said Trump received a perfect score on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment – a roughly 10-minute test used by doctors to detect “mild cognitive dysfunction” and asks the patient to perform a simple batch of memory and mental tasks.
While boasting about his own performance on the cognitive test, Trump has made Biden’s mental state an issue to 2020 voters, attacking his Democratic rival as lacking the cognitive capacity to be president and challenging Biden to take the same test.
Asked what he would say to Trump for making his cognitive health an issue to voters, Biden told the NABJ and NAHJ, “Well, if he can’t figure out the difference between an elephant and a lion, I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
Biden added that he is looking forward to debating Trump after some Republican speculation this week that Democrats are trying to persuade him not to debate.
“I’m so forward-looking to have an opportunity to sit with the President or stand with the President and debates. They’re going to be plenty of time,” Biden said.