Once again, US President Joe Biden caused a stir with a public slip of the tongue. A video excerpt from an election campaign event in which Biden confused French President Emmanuel Macron with his predecessor François Mitterrand, who died almost 30 years ago, and initially referred to him as the head of state of Germany, spread on social media platforms on Monday (local time).
What happened: At the event in Las Vegas, the 81-year-old Biden, who is likely to run again for the Democrats in November's presidential election, spoke about Macron's reaction to a speech at a G7 summit in 2020.
Biden said: "And Mitterrand from Germany - I mean, from France, looked at me and said, 'You know what - why - how long have you been back?'" A transcript of the statement later distributed by the White House became the correct one Name, i.e. Macron, added in brackets.
Mitterrand served as French President from 1981 to 1995. He died in 1996.
An image of Biden's slip of the tongue was viewed thousands of times and shared hundreds of times on the online service X (formerly Twitter) alone.
Biden, the oldest sitting president of the United States, has had similar public outbursts on several occasions. At a conference in September 2022, he apparently thought that MP Jackie Walorski, who had died a month earlier, was among the listeners. Biden said: "Jackie, are you here? Where is Jackie?" And added: “I think she should be here.”
Last April, in a speech in Ireland, Biden confused the All Blacks, the New Zealand national rugby team, with the British military unit Blacks and Tans, which is still notorious in the country for its role in the Irish War of Independence. In this case, the White House even deleted the incorrect term in the transcript that was later distributed - and inserted the correct term "All Blacks."
In January, his most likely challenger by far in the presidential election, 77-year-old Republican former President Donald Trump, also noticed another misfire.
He confused his former UN ambassador and current internal party opponent Nikki Haley with the former Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. Haley responded in a speech in which she questioned Trump's mental fitness.