President Joe Biden attempted to recognize the anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, but in doing so botched the famous line by lead astronaut Neil Armstrong who, while touching down, called the feat “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Sporting aviators in Wednesday morning’s sunlight, President Biden acknowledged the incredible accomplishment of Armstrong, fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and all of NASA before things took a wrong turn.
“Nearly 55 years ago, American astronauts took America’s first step on the moon. They sent a message forever etched in history,” said Biden. “Quote, that’s one small step for man, and one giant step for mankind.”
During the summer of 1969, Americans witnessed Armstrong’s first steps on the moon via television broadcast, cementing the landing in American history at a time when the U.S. was deep into its Cold War with the Soviet Union. USSR astronaut Yuri Gagarin completed the first orbit of Earth eight years earlier, and the two world powers were locked in a desperate bid for influence that included a race to achieve the first moon landing.
X users were quick to remind Biden of his faux pas.
— Hank Kahn (@HankKahn) October 25, 2023
And you thought this guy would get it right?
Him taking one small step is a challenge !
— William Clarke (@bluffsharkBill) October 25, 2023
— Steve Butler (@DarkestDante) October 25, 2023
President Biden’s penchant for mispronouncing is well-known and documented at length by his critics. Just this year, he has pledged to build a railroad across the Pacific Ocean, forgotten the circumstances of the death of his son Beau, referred to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the Black Caucus, and called out “God Save the Queen” at an unrelated event in America months after the British monarch had passed away.
The garbled gaffes are taking a toll on President Biden’s public standing. Deep majorities of Americans as well as Democrats believe the 80-year-old incumbent should not run for reelection, a vulnerability frequently exploited by former President Donald Trump as when he ridiculed Biden for taking stabilizing drugs and “walking on toothpicks.” The White House has pushed back with farcical defenses, claiming that reporters in the White House Press Corp “can’t keep up” with the rigors of President Biden, who now wears special sneakers to avoid tripping in public and takes a small auxiliary set up stairs to board Air Force One.