In early August, presidential candidate Joe Biden insisted: “The president’s words have meaning, no matter who he or she is. They are the face of America.”
By that standard, the self-proclaimed “gaffe machine” shouldn’t even be running.
He stumbled through his first campaign speech and it has been downhill ever since.
He may have a “functioning” brain according to his neurosurgeon, but a lot of his behavior suggests otherwise.
Speaking at a gun control forum in Iowa, Biden said he met with the Parkland shooting survivors while serving as Vice President:
“I watched what happened when the kids from Parkland marched up and I met with them, and then they went off up to the Hill when I was vice president”.
Just one problem. The shooting occurred in February 2018 – more than a year after Biden’s departure from office.
He repeated the lie when talking to the press: “…those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president”. Biden even managed to provide a description of Senators’ demeanors when interacting with the survivors as “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”
2. KENNEDY AND KING
While speaking in Iowa, Biden falsely stated the assassinations of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. occurred “in the late ’70s”.
This error – obvious to most 13-year-olds – occurred while Biden was discussing his involvement in politics at a young age:
“Just like in my generation, when I got out of school, when Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King had been assassinated in the 70s, the late ’70s when I got engaged.”
But Biden was nearly a decade off: Kennedy was shot in June of 1968 and King in April of 1968.
3. MAY AND MAGGIE
Frankly, the differences between these two British prime ministers couldn’t be more stark.
But while discussing responses to President Trump’s comments about Charlottesville – which Biden and other Democratic leaders willfully misrepresent as a defense of white supremacy – he confused former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with then Prime Minister Theresa May.
“You had people like Margaret Thatc… excuse me,” Biden said, presumably unable to recall Theresa May’s name.
Moving on, he continues: “You had people like the former chairman and the leader of the party in Germany. You had Angela Merkel stand up and say how terrible it was. International leaders looked at us like, ‘what in God’s name is happening to the United States of America?'”
Slip of the tongue? Nope. He made a similar mistake at a fundraiser in May: “Margaret Thatcher, um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher — Freudian slip”.
During the second Democratic Party presidential debate, the would-be president botched his closing statement by telling voters “If you agree with me, go to JOE 30330 and help me in this fight.”
He meant to tell voters to text “JOE” to the five-digit number, but instead left his supporters confused about how to support the campaign.
The campaign’s attempt to make Biden’s gaffe humorous and endearing while soliciting donations was a flop:
“In case you missed last night’s debate, Joe meant to say ‘Text Joe to 30330’ but left a word out,” clarified the campaign via email. “Oops.”
“The funny part is we text Joe all the time about emails like this. The next time we text him, we want him to know how many grassroots donations have come in.
“So whether it’s $3.03, $30.33, or $303.30, Joe will love to hear that supporters like you are chipping in what they can to this campaign.”
To add insult to injury, the website “Joe30330.com” is run by a Pete Buttigieg supporter.
5. ‘POOR KIDS AND WHITE KIDS’
Joe Biden clearly thinks all black children are poor, or that all white children are rich. Or both. Who knows? Probably not even Joe Biden.
Speaking in Iowa to an Asian and Latino Coalition PAC, he said: “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids”.
His campaign declared the comments as a mistake and accused the Trump campaign of being “disingenuous” for sharing the video. The full video. “Disingenuous”. Think about that.
Then think about how many column inches or television segments would have been dedicated to such a gaffe if it came from the mouth of President Trump.
April Ryan would have been thumping the CNN news desk demanding reparations… or something.
While discussing his healthcare policy at a town hall event in Hanover, NH, he informed prospective voters that “If you’re not satisfied, you have another option, high-quality options. The public option will be available in my plan”.
Joe Biden just admitted his government-run healthcare would not be “quality.” Yikes! pic.twitter.com/KublyxZBth
— Trump War Room — Text FIGHT to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 23, 2019
However, he described the “public option” as not being “quality”, instead only “affordable”.
Biden’s gaffes continue: “for folks in the working class … they will in fact will increase their premiums” pic.twitter.com/Vq3sO3xEki
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 23, 2019
In the same speech where Biden suggested his healthcare plan would not be “quality” he also added that “folks in the working class … will increase their premiums”. He followed up by clarifying: “excuse me, will increase the generosity of the premium tax credit they now get.”
He's not playing with a full deck…
Joe Biden gets confused, calls the G7 the G8 pic.twitter.com/60wPQeZQ0u
— Trump War Room — Text FIGHT to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) August 23, 2019
Sigh. The list goes on.
7. G8… G7… GEE WHIZ.
While criticizing Trump’s conduct at the G7 summit, he referred to the meeting between the world’s seven largest advanced economies as the “G8”.
G8, short for “Group of Eight”, was the name of the inter-governmental summit from 1997 to 2014, until Russia was disinvited from the group.
Sleepy Joe can’t keep up with a change from five years ago. But he still wants to be Commander in Chief.
8. WHERE AM I?
In true Abraham Simpson style, the Democrat Party’s front runner has also started to forget where he is.
During a press conference in Keene, New Hampshire, about his impression of the town, he told reporters he had “been here a number of times”.
When asked how he felt about being in Keene (again, in NEW HAMPSHIRE), he replied: “What’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it. What a neat town!”
Joe Biden in Keene, New Hampshire: "I’ve been here a number of times…I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?” pic.twitter.com/YZBP4ybQ3z
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 24, 2019
And these are just some the gaffes that the cameras have caught.
While speaking at a California fundraiser, Biden left attendees bemused when he mislabeled the locations of recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio as “tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before”.
At a Delaware fundraiser, he boasted about accusing President Donald Trump of fanning “the flames of white supremacy”, telling the crowd he made the comments in Burlington, Vermont, rather than Burlington, Iowa.
Biden’s only been in the race for just four months, and this is the treasure trove he’s already delivered.
We’re looking forward to the rest of the campaign, of course. But not so much to a Biden presidency, which would inevitably lead to the former VP trying to find his desk in the west wing of a local D.C. White Castle, instead of the White House.
Natalie Winters is a freelance writer and tweets at @NatalieGWinters