Biden’s disaster week: Ailing president’s litany of embarrassing gaffes and errors this
What a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week.
Joe Biden’s embarrassing gaffes came thick and fast this week – after the president managed to fumble a series of high-profile domestic events on the world stage.
His litany of errors – including walking into flag poles, addressing people with the wrong names and rudely forgetting to shake foreign official’s hands – is coupled with the devastating blow that the 80-year-old president’s approval rating stands at 37 percent.
This is five percentage points lower than it was in February, and crucially, it is 10 points lower than his fierce 2020 Republican competitor, Donald Trump, in the latest embarrassing poll from the Washington Post.
Meanwhile, there is a percussive thunder of calls for him to drop out of the running for the next election, from both the left and the right of the political landscape.
Many are seriously questioning how Biden will be able to face a long presidential campaign for the Democrats if he struggles like he did the past week – and how he’ll handle the prospect of another four years in office.
Joe Biden bumped into the Brazilian flag, marking his first gaffe within seconds of appearing on stage at the UN’s big meeting in New York City this week
Biden’s gaffes with the Brazilian president: Walking off stage, running into a flag, no hand shake, and failed translator earpiece
Lula da Silva, 77, looked visibly irritated after the two leaders shared a stage to speak about their initiative to improve workers’ rights in each country – because Biden walked off without shaking his hand.
Their diplomatic meeting got off to a labored start when Biden, 80, shuffled into a seven-foot Brazilian flag, leaving it teetering as he approached the podium.
The president made a rambling speech about his ‘economic vision to rebuild our economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down’ while Lula watched on from his right flank.
Meanwhile, during Lula’s speech, Biden fumbled with his headset, which he was using to hear a translated version.
‘Can you hear me President Biden? This is an historical moment for Brazil, and for the US,’ Lula said at the start of his speech.
Biden appeared to leave Lula hanging at the end of the diplomatic presentation, awkwardly saluting the audience before shuffling off stage. The series of mistakes and ill gestures were watched on the world stage – as the high-level meeting brings world leaders together at U.N. headquarters in New York
Biden continued to look confused as he grappled with the headset while Lula went on with his speech. At one point, Biden dropped his earpiece and raised his eyebrows in frustration.
International Labor Organization Director General Gilbert Houngbo took to the podium after the two world leaders, and Biden stooped to slowly grab a folder from the ground.
Houngbo shook hands with Biden and Lula in turn at the close of his speech – but Biden appeared to leave Lula hanging, awkwardly saluting the audience before shuffling off stage.
He appeared to be torn between giving a thumbs-up or a salute, and made a sloppy gesture combining the two.
As Biden turned his back on the Brazilian president, Lula looked annoyed and made a swiping gesture with his arm. They departed awkwardly from opposite sides.
The series of mistakes and ill gestures were watched on the world stage – as the high-level meeting brought world leaders together at U.N. headquarters in New York.
President calls the Congressional Hispanic Caucus the ‘Black Caucus’
On September 22, the president made yet another public gaffe when all eyes were on him during a keynote speech in Washington, DC.
The 80-year-old made the blunder during a speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 46th Annual Gala.
He had celebrated Sister Norma Pimental, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, for her gala award win moments before the mistake.
Biden praised her for living the lessons based on the Gospel of Matthew before adding: ‘The Congressional Black Caucus embodies all those values.’
‘I know Sister Norma lives the lessons nuns taught me growing up,’ Biden said during the speech addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
‘Lessons based on the Gospel of Matthew: feed the hungry, care for the sick, welcome strangers.’
‘They echo what my dad taught me, and I mean this sincerely, my dad used to say, ‘Everyone, everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.’
The president added: ‘The Congressional Black Caucus embodies all those values,’ without correcting his mistake.
President Joe Biden mistakenly praised the ‘ Congressional Black Caucus’ during a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Biden repeats the same story about a white supremacist rally twice at the same event
Jean-Pierre was twice asked Friday about Biden’s flub – said in a room without cameras rolling but with several journalists present due to rules about covering 2024 finance events.
A pool report from the event, held at food security expert Amy Goldman Fowler’s home, noted that Biden talked about how the white supremacist rally – and former President Donald Trump‘s reaction to it – in Charlottesville in August 2017 inspired him to run for the White House in the 2020 cycle.
‘A few minutes later, he told the story again, nearly word for word,’ the pool report said.
President Joe Biden speaks at a gun safety event on Friday. On Wednesday he repeated the same story twice at a fundraiser in New York City where cameras were not present in the room – though was attended by a small pool of journalists covering him
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked Friday, ‘Is it any concern that he would fully retell a story in the same space at the same event?’ as polls show that a super-majority of Americans are worried that Biden wouldn’t be effective through a second term.
‘Sometimes I re-speak as well from here and retell a story,’ Jean-Pierre said with a laugh.
‘But look, I think it’s important to note that the president was speaking, as you said at a fundraiser and he was speaking from his heart,’ she continued. ‘He was speaking about why he’s decided to do this.’
‘And you hear the president talk about this, it’s always incredibly emotional for him. Cause he didn’t have to. He went through an incredibly difficult time when he was deciding to jump into the race,’ she added.
Joe Biden butchered his speech at the Congressional Black Caucus on Saturday night
Biden refers to rapper LL Cool J as ‘LL Jay Cool J’
On Saturday night, LL Cool J and MC Lyte received Phoenix Awards for their musical contributions at the annual ceremony.
While on stage, Biden said: ‘Two of the great artists of our time representing ground-breaking legacy of hip hop in America, LL Jay Cool J, uhhh…’ – as the audience laughed at his latest gaffe over the rapper’s name.
Biden then added: ‘By the way that boy – that man’s got biceps bigger than my thighs.’
The footage of his speech was quickly re-posted by right-wing RNC Research on social media, where commentators swiftly pointed out that referring to African Americans as ‘boy’ is widely considered a derogative term.
It was yet another butchered speech for the most powerful man in the world.
The 80-year-old president referred to legendary rapper LL Cool J (pictured) as a ‘boy’ after mispronouncing his name
Biden claims he’s been to ‘every mass shooting’ – which he has not
Joe Biden also – erroneously – claimed to have been to ‘every mass shooting’ this week.
‘After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message, the same message heard all over the country, and I’ve been to every mass shooting,’ he told his audience.
There have more than 500 mass shootings in the US this year and critics on social media were scathing in their response to the latest tall story.
‘Suspicious, if true,’ tweeted former US diplomat Alberto Fernandez.
‘Every weekend should be therefore spent in Chicago instead of Delaware,’ added Fox News contributor Joe Concha.
The president claimed to have ‘been to every mass shooting’ as he launched a gun control initiative on Friday alongside Maxwell Frost, 26, the youngest member of Congress
The news comes as a new poll from the Washington Post has Biden trailing former president Trump in a theoretical 2024 match. The two men are the frontrunners for their party’s nomination for president.
But questions are growing louder on whether Biden should run as Democrats such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom appear to be positioning themselves to take the mantle.
According to the WaPo polling this weekend, Biden’s approval rating stands at about 37 percent, similar to where it was in May, but five percentage points lower than it was in February.
Biden’s disapproval figure is 56 percent. The poll also asked whether, in retrospect, voters approve or disapprove of the job Trump did while in office.
Forty-eight percent say they approve and 49 percent say they disapprove. When he left office in January of 2021, Trump’s approval was closer to 38 percent.
The poll’s matchup of the two likely candidates showed Trump polling ahead of Biden by 10 percentage points – 52 to 42 – among registered voters.
The current resident of the Oval Office is also ailing in his policy record. Biden has spent many of the last several weeks touting his signature economic plan, ‘Bidenomics.’ But his earned approval rating on his handling of the economy has plummeted to 30 percent – the lowest of his presidency.
Some 75 percent of Americans believe the economy is ‘not so good,’ or ‘poor,’ according to the poll. A whopping 87 percent of Americans say that gas and energy prices are ‘not so good’ or ‘poor.’ And 91 percent of people say the same about food prices.
A plurality of respondents (44 percent) said they are not as well of financially as before Biden took office, while 39 percent said they are in about the same position, and 15 percent said they are better off.