Whitmer says she doesn’t think ‘it would hurt’ for Biden to take cognitive test

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said in an interview Wednesday she doesn’t think “it would hurt” for President Biden to take a cognitive test, amid concerns about his standing as the Democratic party’s presumptive nominee for the White House.

“I don’t think that it’d hurt, to be honest,” Whitmer told CNN’s Abby Phillip, when asked whether Biden should “take a cognitive test and demand that Donald Trump do the same.”

“I don’t think it would hurt,” Whitmer said again, when Phillip asked again to clarify whether she thinks Biden should take the test.

Biden has faced growing calls to undergo cognitive testing and release the results in the wake of his disastrous debate performance late last month and amid a series of reports about his apparent decline in recent months.

Concerns were only fanned further when public records brought to attention that a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson’s disease had visited the White House. The administration has since said the physician in question has been the neurology consultant for the White House Medical Unit for more than a decade.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) called for Biden and Trump to undergo cognitive testing, and former GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley has also suggested such tests should be required of politicians older than a certain age.

Whitmer, a national co-chair for the Biden-Harris reelection campaign, conceded in the Wednesday interview that “certainly” Biden’s first debate performance was “not a great success,” but she made the case that Biden still “is the happy warrior” who works for the American people.

“He shows up every day and fights for the American public. He cares about other people more than he cares about himself,” the governor, who has also been floated as a potential replacement should Biden withdraw, said in the interview. “And that‘s precisely why I think this moment, where we have Donald Trump, who‘s been convicted of 34 felonies, who cares only about Donald Trump. We can‘t lose sight of how high these stakes are.”

“We have a field, and unless one person, Joe Biden, makes an alternative decision, this is the field, and we‘ve got to go,” she added.

Whitmer, who pushed back against calls to replace Biden, also suggested Wednesday that if Vice President Harris were to top the ticket, she would not rule out being her running mate.

Since the debate, numerous Democrats in Congress have publicly called for Biden to step aside, including Sen. Peter Welch (Vt.), who became the first Democratic member of the upper chamber to do so Wednesday. At least nine House Democrats have also made the call.

At the same time, many Democrats have doubled down on their support for the president as the rightful nominee chosen by the American people — a message Biden has stressed as well.

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