‘I’m sorry’: Joe Biden struggles to recall Hamas’ name in mumbling speech - Hindustan Times

‘I’m sorry’: Biden struggles to recall Hamas’ name in mumbling speech, calls terrorist group ‘opposition movt’

ByShweta Kukreti
Feb 07, 2024 08:46 PM IST

US President Joe Biden forgot the name of ‘Hamas’ when asked about discussions between the terrorist group and Israel over hostages amidst the ongoing war.

In yet another press conference, US President Joe Biden stammered and even forgot the name of ‘Hamas’ when asked about discussions between the terrorist group and Israel over hostages.

US President Joe Biden (Bloomberg)
US President Joe Biden (Bloomberg)

"There is some movement, and I don't wanna, I don't wanna..... let me be choose my words—there's some movement. There's been a response from the, uh, there's been a response from the opposition, but um…," the 81-year-old commander-in-chief said while responding to the question on Tuesday.

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Seemingly unsure of what he was meant to say, Biden glanced up to his left, receiving much-needed direction.

"Yes, I’m sorry, from Hamas," he added, when a reporter reminded him that he was talking about terrorist organisation that is at war with Israel.

During the press conference, Biden called Hamas' response to a proposed truce agreement in Gaza "a little over the top". He, however, acknowledged that "there is some movement [on the hostage deal negotiations]". "We are not sure where it is going and we continue to negotiate," he added.

The US President was delivering a speech on the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, a border-security bill.

Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner, has urged Senate Republicans to oppose the bill despite the ongoing unrest at the southern border.

Also Read: Biden gets brutally mocked as he confuses Macron with France's dead president ‘Mitterrand’

'It's sad to watch…': Biden faces flak for latest blunder

Meanwhile, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) was quick to react to the Biden's apparent gaffe.

“I’m attacked for being honest and saying the quiet part out loud — the part DC insiders only do in private,” he said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

“I admire our President. I voted for him and campaigned for him. He has visited my home and been gracious to my family and our country. But shame on all of you pretending everything is OK,” Phillips, who is challenging Biden for the Democratic nomination, continued. “You are leading us — and him — into a disaster, and you damn well know it.”

“It's sad to watch and scary at the same time. I'm not a Biden supporter based on his policies and time in office, but what is happening is terrifying and, frankly, elder abuse,” an X user commented on Phillips' post.

Another added, “We have a minimum age to be president, why not a maximum age? Either get rid of age discrimination altogether or set an upper and lower threshold for the role of congress, senate, and presidency.”

Concerns raised around Biden's age and mental fitness

Earlier this week, Biden seemed to confuse his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron with Francois Mitterrand, the ex-leader of the European nation who died nearly three-decade ago.

In the official transcript of the speech, White House admitted Biden's mistake and noted Biden uttered Mitterrand, but was supposed to mention French President Macron, who has been holding the post since 2017. Mitterrand, on the other hand, held the president office from 1981 to 1995.

Biden has been under fire for his age and mental fitness as the 2024 presidential campaign gets underway in earnest. His verbal fumbles and physical mishaps, like tumbling on Air Force One's stairs, have been used by his detractors as proof of his incompetence.

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