WASHINGTON – It doesn’t quite have the ring of “Morning in America” and “I Like Ike.”
But the phrase “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.” is getting an unlikely moment in the spotlight as President Donald Trump has taken a detour into the politics of dementia three months before the election.
Trump, 74, attempted to demonstrate his mental fitness by reciting five words — in order, importantly — over and over in a television interview broadcast Wednesday night. The president said that collection of nouns, or ones like them, was part of a cognitive test he had aced while declaring that his likely Democratic opponent, 77-year-old Joe Biden, could not do the same.
In a battle of septuagenarians, the Trump campaign has long tried to paint Biden as having lost some of his mental sharpness. But the gambit has yet to prove successful in denting the former vice president’s standing in the race. That leaves Trump trying to escalate the attacks while defending his own ability to handle the mental rigors of the job.
“The first questions are very easy,” Trump told Fox News. “The last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s, like, you’ll go: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. So they say, ‘Could you repeat that?’ So I said, ‘Yeah. It’s: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’”
He then recalled that, at the end of the test, the doctor asked him to recite it again.
“And you go: ‘Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' If you get it in order, you get extra points,” Trump said. “They said nobody gets it in order. It’s actually not that easy, but for me, it was easy.”
Trump boasted that he dazzled the doctors because he has “a good memory, because I’m cognitively there” and delivered an unsubtle accusation about Biden.