President Joe Biden, the 46th and oldest president to be inaugurated, has long come under fire for his public blunders.
As a representative of the United States during international visits and events, American citizens and politicians have voiced their frustrations over the frequency of his gaffes.
While the White House has defended the president and insisted he is both mentally and physically healthy, the criticism has continued.
Here is a look at some of Biden’s most embarrassing gaffes, blunders and mistakes of 2022.
March 1 – Says Iranian People Instead of Ukrainian
During his State of the Union speech in March, Biden made the blunder of confusing the people of Iran with those of Ukraine in a moment that quickly went viral.
Biden was attempting to bring attention to the recent invasion of Ukraine and to offer his sympathies to Ukrainians.
Biden said: “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he’ll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people. He will never extinguish their love of freedom. He will never weaken the resolve of the free world.”
July 8 – Reading Teleprompter Instructions Aloud
The president was mocked in July after flubbing his lines during a speech and reading the teleprompter instructions aloud.
Biden was speaking at the White House about protecting women’s reproductive rights and the importance of voting when he made the gaffe.
“It is noteworthy that the percentage of women who register to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so—end of quote, repeat the line. Women are not without electoral and, or, political—let me be precise: not and, or—or political power,” Biden said during his address.
The teleprompter had instructed him to repeat the line: “Women are not without electoral or political power.”
This error resulted in ridicule for the president on Twitter, with some commenters claiming he was unfit to lead the country.
July 15 – Fist Bumping Saudi Crown Prince
Biden’s gaffe in July may have been less of a blunder and more of a social faux pas that resulted in significant criticism of the president.
His decision to fist bump Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a trip to Jeddah was called “shameful.”
Their meeting was widely condemned as the crown prince has long been accused of ordering the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian dissident, was killed on October 2, 2018. The CIA conducted its own investigation into the matter and concluded that he was murdered by agents of the Saudi government at its consulate in Istanbul.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden had taken to fist-bumping world leaders rather than greet them with the traditional handshake to reduce physical contact.
After the images of the fist bump began to circulate online, the CEO of the Washington Post, Fred Ryan, released a statement.
“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake—it was shameful.
“It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking.”
September 28 – Forgets the death of Republican lawmaker
A blunder by Biden in late September would prove awkward.
While speaking at a White House conference on hunger, nutrition and health, the president called out for Representative Jackie Walorski.
Biden asked if she was at the event during his speech, as she had helped organize it, and looked into the audience seemingly forgetting that the Indiana lawmaker had passed away following a car crash the previous month.
Biden faced criticism online for the blunder, however, some did defend the president and suggested he may have misspoken and meant to call on another politician.
October 20 – Exits Stage the Wrong Way
During a speech Biden made at a rally in Pittsburgh, while campaigning for then-Pennsylvania Democrat Senator hopeful John Fetterman, he appeared to get confused while trying to leave a stage.
After concluding his speech, Biden turned to his right and took a few steps away from the podium before he started speaking to someone out of view.
He then turned the other way, ultimately making a 180-degree turn to his left.
He then pointed forward with his finger and walked off stage, much to the amusement of social media users.
Biden critics used this moment as an opportunity to question his mental competency with even those who regularly support the Democratic leader admitting it was an awkward moment.
October 24 – Calls Kamala Harris a ‘Great President ‘
In October as Biden spoke at the White House during an event celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, he made a gaffe involving Vice President Kamala Harris.
While wishing her a happy birthday, which she had celebrated earlier that week, he mistakenly referred to her as president rather than vice president.
This was not the first time Biden had referred to Harris as the president during a speech, a detail pointed out repeatedly on social media.
Joe Biden just wished Kamala Harris a happy birthday and said she’s a great president. I can’t believe I’m giving Democrats advice, but hide him in his beach house. Every time he speaks the red wave gets higher. pic.twitter.com/fyCUwdM20b
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) October 24, 2022
While speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2021, he had also made the blunder.
“Now when President Harris and I took a virtual tour of a vaccination center in Arizona not long ago, one of the nurses on that, on that tour injecting people, giving vaccinations, said that each shot was like administering a dose of hope,” he said.
October 28 – Says the U.S. has 54 Sates
Biden once again blundered while campaigning for now-Pennsylvania U.S. Senator John Fetterman in late October.
The president caused confusion and laughter when he said the U.S. had 54 States rather than 50 when speaking about the Affordable Care Act.
Biden said: “And, of course, [the Republicans are] going to try for the 499th time, or whatever the number is. They’re still determined to eliminate the Affordable Care Act.
“And, by the way, if they do, that means, not a joke everybody, that’s why we defeated it in 2018 when they tried to do it. We went to 54 states.
“The reason is people didn’t realize that the only reason anybody who has a pre-existing condition can get healthcare is because of that Affordable Care Act.”
The video quickly went viral, racking up 1.7 million views on Twitter in a matter of days.
November 12 – Starts ASEAN Summit by Getting Host Country Wrong
Biden started a trip to Southeast Asia with a blunder that resulted in much mirth on November 12.
During a speech in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, he mistakenly referred to the Prime Minister of Colombia, instead of Cambodia, when attempting to thank the summit hosts.
Biden, in remarks at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, thanks “the prime minister for Colombia” for his “leadership as ASEAN chair.”
The ASEAN chair is the prime minister of Cambodia. pic.twitter.com/1vJDGP9ljI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 12, 2022
As a South American nation, Colombia isn’t a member of ASEAN and has a president rather than a prime minister.
This was not the first time that Biden had confused Cambodia and Colombia.
Earlier that same week, while speaking to reporters at the White House, the president said: “Anyway, you guys, I’m heading down to first of all, going to Cairo for the environmental effort [COP27], then heading over to Colombia and then—I mean, Cambodia.”
Despite the repeated blunders throughout his presidency, the White House has clarified Biden’s statements in follow-up press conferences and spoken of his competency.
White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote in a memo in November 2021 that Biden remained a “healthy, vigorous 78-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.”
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