The presidential flubs came as he welcomed the Las Vegas Gold Knights Stanley Cup champions to the White House on Monday and are part of a series of mistakes on his part when it comes to his running mate.
‘President Harris is here to make sure we do it the right way,’ Biden said as he kicked off the celebratory event.
Biden’s propensity for gaffes has come under close scrutiny as the 2024 election approaches. Donald Trump, who is leading the race for the Republican nomination, has repeatedly questioned Biden’s health and mental capacities.
President Joe Biden accepts a golden hockey stick from the Vegas Golden Knights
At 80, Biden is the oldest president in American history. His doctor has given him a clean bill of health to run for a second term.
But he’s also made several stumbles – literally tripping and even falling down a few times – along with his verbal gaffes.
In the past two years he’s given away his job to his second-in-command on numerous occasions.
And there were more.
‘President Harris is a proud Howard alum,’ Biden said in a commencement speech at South Carolina State last December.
He did the same during a press briefing on coronavirus vaccines in March 2021. That same month, he referred to Harris as ‘the first lady.’
President Biden repeatedly has defended his ability to run the country but concedes his age is a legitimate issue. Trump is 77 – only four years younger than Biden.
‘I think it’s a legitimate thing to be concerned about, anyone’s age, including mine. I think that’s totally legitimate,’ Biden said in October.
‘But the best way to make a judgment is to, you know, watch me. You know, am I slowing up? Do I not have the same pace? Or, you know, and that old joke, you know – everybody talks about the new, you know, 70s, 50s, you know all that stuff.’
‘I do not want to jinx myself, I am in good health. All of my- everything physically about me is still functioning well, so you know, and mentally too, so,’ the president noted.
Vice President Kamala Harris waves as she arrives for the Vegas Golden Knights event
Mark Stone and George McPhee present President Joe Biden with a jersey and a golden hockey stick
Biden was in a jovial mood at the Golden Knights’ event, making several jokes, and accepting a golden hockey stick from the championship team, which he waved around before the crowd.
Biden noted that Vegas has had a series of championships lately, including their women’s basketball team, which won back-to-back WNBA titles.
He then turned to football, asking them to see if their football team, the Vegas Raiders, could not beat the Philadelphia Eagles, the home team of his wife Jill Biden. The first lady is a passionate Philly fan.
‘Just don’t take the Eagles,’ he said, ‘because I’ll get divorced if that happens. I married a Philly girl.’
And he even threw in a joke about polls, noting the Golden Knights ownership ‘had faith, predicting a playoff run in three years and a Stanley Cup in six. I got to talk to them because the polling data I’m not paying much attention too.’
The audience burst into laughter.
Biden and his re-election campaign has been pushing back against polling data that shows him trailing Donald Trump.
There was polling from The New York Times and Siena College last month that showed the president trailing behind Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden is ahead only in Wisconsin, by 2 percentage points. Biden won all six states in the 2020 election.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden kiss on the South Lawn of the White House after arriving on Marine One from their weekend in Wilmington, Del.
President Biden arrives at the event honoring the Stanley Cup champions with Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone
When it was his turn to talk, Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone was visibly nervous about speaking before the commander in chief.
‘We all come here in awe of this beautiful place and have such respect for you and the office that you hold,’ said Stone. He appeared to be overcome by nerves before composing himself.
‘It’s a lot easier playing hockey in front of 20,000 than this – can confirm that,’ he added as the audience cheered him on.
The team presented Biden with a jersey and a golden hockey stick.
‘It’s an honour to speak on behalf of not only my team mates but the entire organisation and the city of Las Vegas – of course, an amazing city, the entertainment capital of the world,’ said Stone.
‘Say that with all due respect to Delaware, Mr. President,’ he added, poking a bit of fun at Biden’s home state.
The Golden Knights won the best-of-seven championship series 4-1 against the Florida Panthers in June, triggering celebrations along the famed Vegas Strip.