On Friday, President Donald Trump went after former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump called into question Biden’s mental acuity after the gaffe-prone Biden misspoke on Thursday while stumping in Iowa. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented, as white kids.” Biden said, before adding, “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids, no I really mean it, but think how we think about it.”
Biden slipped and said: “poor kids are just as smart as white kids.” He quickly corrected himself and added “wealthy kids, black kids”
— Emma Kinery (@EmmaKinery) August 9, 2019
Biden was widely panned for the awkward flub and Trump seized the opportunity to join in, telling the media on Friday, “Joe is not playing with a full deck. This is not somebody you can have as your president. Joe Biden can’t answer a simple question. Something’s gone wrong with him.”
Biden’s verbal stumbles are frequent. This week he mixed up very recent British Prime Minister Theresa May with very not recent British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The Democrat also, reportedly, incorrectly identified the location of this weekend’s mass shootings.
Trump, however, might not be the ideal messenger for a shot at Biden’s verbal prowess, and not just because the president also proved himself not up to the task of remembering the locations of both mass shootings. Trump’s lack of self-awareness is mixed with a string of self-aggrandizing claims — how he is most healthy, the smartest, uses the best words, and has the best brain — that he continually undercuts with inarticulate, inaccurate or indecipherable statements. His frequent mistakes have even led some psychiatrists to question his mental health.
If Trump is not America’s most gaffe-prone president, he’s pretty close. Just this week, after the mass shooting in Dayton, during a speech he referred to the city as Toledo. MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes put together a blooper reel of Trump’s greatest gaffes that include:
- Calling Hurricane Florence “one of the wettest we’ve ever seen from the standpoint of water”
- Referring to the “oranges” of the Mueller investigation repeatedly when he meant “origins”
- Talking about the “floors of the forest” when discussing wildfires and saying that the president of Finland told him they “spend a lot of time raking and cleaning” their forests
- Calling Apple CEO Tim Cook “Tim Apple”
- Referring to 9/11 as 7/11
- Saying that noise from windmills causes cancer
- Telling a crowd that “the kidney has a very special place in the heart”
— Peter (@Petervideo23) August 9, 2019
And let’s not forget just last month during his Fourth of July speech when Trump said that during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army “rammed the ramparts and took over airports.”
There’s also a question of corrections. Biden’s comment on “poor kids” and “white kids” was either a very bad teleprompter typo or a worrisome subconscious slip, but regardless, he amended it immediately. It has been more than four years since Trump, while announcing his presidential run, called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists. In lieu of a correction, retraction or apology, Trump made it the core message of his campaign and presidency.