United States President Joe Biden confused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron with France’s long-dead former leader Francois Mitterrand. While speaking at a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sunday, the 81-year-old leader described Macron’s reaction to a speech at a G-7 meeting in 2020. The video footage of the speech went viral on Monday.
Besides getting Macron’s name wrong, he also misstated his country. “And Mitterrand—Macron, from Germany—I mean, from France looked at me and said, said ‘You know, what — why — how long you back for?” Biden said, according to a White House transcript.
JUST IN – Biden says he recently met with Mitterand, former French president who died in 1996 pic.twitter.com/fB5fpCT1uu
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) February 6, 2024
Mitterrand was French President from 1981 to 1995, and died in 1996. The video of Biden’s mix-up has been viewed and shared several times on social media platform X.
Joe Biden’s Similar Mistakes In Past
In April 2023, Biden confused New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team with the Black and Tans, a British military force notorious for its involvement in the Irish War of Independence, as reported by AFP. A White House transcript corrected the US President. The transcript of his speech, given in a pub in Ireland, crossed out “Black and Tans” and inserted “All Blacks,” AFP reported.
In September 2022, the US President made a similar mistake when he called on a deceased congresswoman at a conference she helped organise. “Jackie, are you here? Where’s Jackie? I think she was going to be here,” he said, referring to Indiana representative Jackie Walorski, who had died a month earlier, as reported by AFP.
Donald Trump Made Similar Mistake
Last month, former US President Donald Trump also made a similar mistake when he confused his party rival Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump had falsely said Haley was in charge of security during the violent assault on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, AFP reported. Trump’s mistake prompted her to question his mental fitness during a campaign speech.