President Joe Biden stunned an audience in North Carolina Thursday when he broke from his prepared remarks to claim he had just taken a photograph with a congresswoman who wasn’t present at the event.
The President was touting the administration’s investments in broadband internet infrastructure at the Abbott’s Creek Community Center when the awkward incident occurred, according to The Western Journal. The speech kicked off innocuously enough, with Biden thanking attendees and recognizing dignitaries present before claiming he posed for a photo with Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC), who was not there.
“I also want to mention your Congresswoman Deborah Ross. Where’s Deborah? Did she — I just had my picture taken with her. That’s probably why she left. (Laughter.) No, all kidding aside — but, anyway — you — oh, she couldn’t be here, actually. That’s not true. I got it mixed up,” said Biden in the White House transcript of his remarks.
“And she has — you know, she fights very hard for the people of this district, and she is up in Washington right now,” he added.
The gaffe is another cudgel for Republicans to wield as they insist the Democratic president has lost steam since running a 2020 campaign that largely kept him confined to his “basement,” the GOP and President Trump mockingly claimed at the time. Biden’s penchant for misstatements may be unprecedented in the modern era: from referring to the Congressional Black Caucus as the “Hispanic Caucus,” to claiming his administration plans to build a railroad across the Pacific Ocean, the seemingly endless well of utterances has badly impacted Biden’s image of appearing fit to maintain his job.
A large majority of Americans, and even Democratic voters, believe President Biden is too old to handle the world’s toughest job and express deep dissatisfaction with his performance in office. Former allies of the president have abandoned him, calling on Democrats to nominate a younger, newer candidate for president. In response, the White House has dispatched Vice President Kamala Harris to bravely declare that Biden is “very much alive” and running for a second term.