Washington — Former Vice President Joe Biden said he has not taken a test to measure his cognitive ability, shrugging off the suggestion as President Trump and his campaign continue to question his mental fitness for office.
"No, I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man," Biden told CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett in an interview airing in full on Thursday at the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. "That's like saying you, before you got in this program, you're taking a test whether you're taking cocaine or not. What do you think, huh? Are you a junkie?"
Biden's campaign did not respond to requests for further clarification from CBS News.
It is unclear which cognitive test Mr. Trump took, although hein July that he "aced" it. In January 2018, the president took a test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which is not an IQ test, but is used to detect signs of dementia or other cognitive issues.
"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 said in the interview with Barnett, an apparent reference to the portion of the test where the subject is asked to identify animals. Biden also said he was eager to prove his mental acuity when debating Mr. Trump.
"I'm so forward-looking to have an opportunity to sit with the president or stand with the president and the debates," he said. "I am very willing to let the American public judge my physical as well as my mental fitness and to, you know, to make a judgment about who I am."
In another interview with Fox News later in July, Mr. Trump, saying he had to repeat a series of words multiple times — offering, as an example, "person, woman, man, camera, TV." Mr. Trump said he had to recall the phrase again later during the test and was given "extra points" because he repeated the words in order.
"They say, 'That's amazing,'" he said, referring to the doctors. "'How did you do that?' I do it because I have, like, a good memory. Because I'm cognitively there."
Mr. Trump also challenged Biden to take the test.
"Honestly, he should take the test," the president said. "In a way, he has an obligation to, because you have to be able to show this country that the person that we're picking as leader is sharp. Because we're dealing with people that want to do very bad things to us."