President Joe Biden continues to refer to recent conversations with deceased foreign leaders as he struggles to remember the exact details of previous meetings.
At Wednesday’s fundraising events in New York City, Biden twice recalled a conversation with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot at the 2021 G7 summit.
“Helmut Kohl of Germany looked at me and said, ‘What would you say, Mr. President, if tomorrow morning you read the Times of London and found out that there were 1,000 people breaking down the doors of the British Parliament, killing some (inaudible) along the way?’ towards the entrance?” to deny the next prime minister taking office. And you think, what would we think?’ Biden stated at an event.
Kohl died in 2017.
Biden has a history of struggling to remember who is alive and who has passed away.
US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 6, 2024 in Washington, DC.
While recounting anecdotes from a G7 summit, Biden repeatedly confuses the names of deceased world leaders with their modern counterparts.
The White House on Thursday defended Biden’s recent mistakes, noting that political figures often make mistakes when speaking in public.
“As far as the names and what I was trying to say, a lot of people, elected officials, a lot of people can sometimes misspeak,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during the White House press briefing. the White House after reporters repeatedly asked about the errors.
Speaking in Las Vegas on Monday, Biden recalled the same summit meeting, referring to a conversation he had with French President Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996, rather than with current leader Emmanuel Macron.
Biden’s mistakes are notable, as he frequently refers to these two conversations with European leaders on the fundraising circuit with Democratic donors.
It warns that European leaders are concerned about the threat former President Donald Trump poses to the future of global democracy.
On Tuesday, the White House declined to answer questions about the president’s mental fitness.
A journalist highlighted Biden’s mistake on Monday in confusing French leaders during the daily White House briefing on Tuesday, but Jean-Pierre rejected the question.
“I’m not even going to go down that rabbit hole with you, sir,” he responded to Fox News’ Peter Doocy. When he objected that it wasn’t a rabbit hole, she listed Biden’s recent busy schedule.
“You saw the president in Las Vegas, in California,” he said. —You have seen the president in South Carolina. You saw it in Michigan. I’ll leave it there.’
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., on February 6, 2024.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at a news conference at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024.
Biden’s obvious confusion prompted some light banter from Late Night host Stephen Colbert on Tuesday.
‘I’m telling you. It’s a feature, not a bug. It’s all summed up in his new campaign slogan, Biden 2024: ‘I see dead people!’ he joked.
The president’s struggles only remind voters of Biden’s increasing age. At 81 years old, he is already the oldest president in history, and he is running for another term that would keep him in office until he is 86 years old.
This is not the only time Biden has mixed up the names of world leaders.
In 2019, he briefly referred to a conversation about the United States under former President Donald Trump with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, when he meant to refer to then-Prime Minister Theresa May.
“Margaret Thatcher… um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher, Freudian slip,” Biden said in 2019, realizing the mistake and correcting himself. “But I knew her too.”
In 2019, President Biden referred to a conversation with Margaret Thatcher about former President Donald Trump before correcting himself.
During a November 2022 speech, Biden recalled a conversation with a man who “invented” insulin, even though the man who discovered the drug died in 1941, a year before Biden was born.
In September 2022, Biden saluted the late Indiana Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., who died in a car accident in August 2022.
‘Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? Biden said, looking out over a crowd of lawmakers at a conference on hunger. “She shouldn’t be here.”
President Joe Biden searches the crowd for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) weeks after her death in a car crash.
The White House dismissed the incident, saying the congresswoman was simply “the most important thing” to the president.
“I mean, I think a lot of people can talk sometimes when you have people on your mind, they’re the most important thing,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at the time.
It is the latest in a growing list of mistakes made by the president since he took office.
The 81-year-old has repeatedly said that his son Beau died in Iraq, rather than at Walter Reed, and in June 2023 he confused the ongoing war in Ukraine with the Iraq war, which ended in 2011.
He declared that Russia’s Vladimir Putin was “clearly losing the war in Iraq.”
In 2023, he closed a speech on gun control with the bizarre proclamation: “God save the queen, man,” even after the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.
The following month, Biden claimed to have reached a medical milestone, declaring: “We ended cancer as we know it.”
And in December 2023, he boasted about infrastructure spending, saying it was: “Over a billion, 300 million, trillion, 300 million dollars.”
Biden’s missteps only heighten concerns American voters have about the president’s physical and mental capabilities as he runs for re-election.
According to a recent NBC pollA total of 76 percent of voters have significant or moderate concerns that Biden, 81, is physically and mentally healthy to serve a second term as president.
Sixty-two percent of voters in the survey say they have “major concerns” about Biden’s physical and mental health.