Status: 25.09.2023, 10:25 a.m.
By: Stefan Krieger
Another of Joe Biden's faux pas: during a speech, he confuses the name of LL Cool J and earns criticism on social media.
Washington D.C. – Another misfire from US President Joe Biden: During a speech at the annual conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on Saturday (23 September), the 80-year-old misrepresented the name of US rapper LL Cool J.
Biden spoke at the dinner for the foundation's "Phoenix Award," which "recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to society." One of the honorees was LL Cool J, whose name the president misstated in his speech - which later caused amusement and criticism on social media.
"LL J Cool J represents the groundbreaking legacy of hip-hop in America," Biden said, earning laughter from the audience. "By the way, this boy has biceps bigger than my thighs".
Too old for office? Joe Biden's verbal misfires do not go down well. © Jacquelyn Martin/dpa
The president's latest misfire: mockery and ridicule on social media
The president's faux pas sparked strong reactions on social media, with some critics also criticizing his use of the term "boy."
"If a Republican were to say something like that, there would be an eruption of outrage in the media that would continue. And everyone knows that. But they're just going to let Biden go the way they've done with all the other racist things he's said over the decades," Donald Trump's former communications director Tim Murtaugh wrote on Sunday (Sept. 24) on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
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"Joe Biden calls LL Cool J 'boy'. I believe his ghost is stuck in the '60s," wrote X user Malachi Maxey. Others, on the other hand, defended the president.
"In a healthy world, he would be a nice old man calling a man much younger than him a boy, and that would all be very endearing. LL Cool J would be flattered to be approached so intimately by a respectable old man. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the president is old," X user Jay Buffalkill wrote.
Biden's slip was the latest in a series of similar incidents recently.
For example, Biden, Brazilian President Lula da Silva and the Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Gilbert Houngbo, gave speeches at a press conference last Wednesday. After his address, Biden and Houngbo shook hands. Subsequently, however, Biden left the stage without shaking hands with da Silva.
On Friday, Biden said he had been present at every "mass shooting" in the United States when he announced in a speech the establishment of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. "I am determined to send a clear message about how important this issue is to me and to the country. It's important, and here's why," he said in his remarks. "After every mass shooting, we hear a simple message – the same message across the country. I was there for every mass shooting.'"
Biden's misfires exploit the Republicans
The president's latest mistake comes in handy for his Republican political opponents. Donald Trump's campaign team in particular had repeatedly pointed out that Biden may not have the mental capacity for another four-year term in the event of re-election next year.
A recent CBS/YouGov poll found that only 34 percent of American voters believe Biden will serve a full second term if re-elected. This compares with 55 percent for Donald Trump, the current poll favorite for the Republican presidential nomination. Others, however, believe that Biden is still capable of exercising his office, pointing out that Trump has also had verbal misfires in the past.
The latest poll by the Washington Post and ABC News also underpins the poor scores for Biden. The results show that the incumbent president is far behind Trump. According to the poll, which was conducted by telephone between September 15 and 20 among a sample of 1,006 adults, Trump is a whopping ten percentage points ahead of Biden with 52 percent with 42 percent of the vote.
Poor poll numbers for Biden
The Washington Post emphasized that this latest poll could be an outlier that is not consistent with other recent polls. At the same time, however, she pointed out that American voters' dissatisfaction with Biden regarding the state of the US economy and the migration issue is increasing.
Trump's team cheered after the release of the new poll, with former president's senior adviser Jason Miller writing on X: "Heads are exploding at the Jeff Bezos Amazon Washington Post because President Trump is now 10 points (52 percent - 42 percent) ahead of Joe Biden nationwide, having led by 6 points (49 percent - 43 percent) in May!"
At the start of his campaign this year, Biden sought to re-motivate Democratic voters with his efforts to protect American democracy, highlighting issues such as Social Security and access to abortion. However, the ongoing economic problems in the US – such as high gasoline prices and inflation, the repayment of student loans, and now the automakers' strike – have presented the president with major challenges that voters believe he has not addressed decisively enough. (skr)