The Rev. Al Sharpton criticized former President Trump’s recent pullback of attacks on his opponents, claiming it shows the GOP presidential front-runner is “losing it.”
Sharpton was pressed by MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough on the former president’s apparent lull in fiery rhetoric against longtime advice columnist E. Jean Carroll after he was ordered last month to pay $83.3 million for defaming her in 2019 by denying her sexual assault claims. He also said his attacks against primary rival Nikki Haley have lessened, speculating his campaign team urged him to “keep [his] mouth shut.”
“I think that it is certainly that, but I also think that it goes with the fact that he’s losing it,” Sharpton said. “Because let’s not forget, he ran against a woman in ’16 named Hillary Clinton, right? He had no problem, he’s losing it.”
“His [Trump’s] instinct is to fight back, punch back and he would think back in those days that he was thinking clearer — if you ever want to call what he thought was clear — but that he would fight back and said, ‘They hit me, I can hit back,’” he added.
Sharpton, who has become an outspoken critic of Trump in recent years, pointed to a conversation he had with the late Muhammed Ali about when he knew it was time to retire from boxing.
“Ali told me one day, toward the end of his career, ‘I saw the openings and I just couldn’t get the punch there, I just couldn’t.’ He said, ‘I knew where to go…but I just couldn’t get to punch there. That’s when I knew I had to leave the ring,’” Sharpton shared.
“The openings are there for Trump, he can’t get there, his mind is not there anymore, and they need to take him out of the ring before he gets knocked out,” he argued.
The subject of Trump’s mental fitness was also brought to the forefront last month after he appeared to mix up Haley with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) while discussing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
His opponents on both sides of the aisle, including Haley and President Biden, used the mix-up to scrutinize Trump’s mental acuity. Haley, 52, has repeatedly called for mental competency tests for those over 75, which Trump, 77 claimed he would beat Haley in.
Biden, 81, has also faced ongoing security over his age and ability to serve another four-year term.
Polling from Quinnipiac University, released Wednesday, showed the Biden’s support is ticking up in a hypothetical match-up against Trump, with the incumbent holding a 6-point lead over the former president — 50 to 44 percent.
The former president maintains a nearly 58-point lead over Haley in the GOP primary, according to a polling index from Truth Puke/Decision Desk HQ.