Gaffe Joe: Biden refers to Xi Jinping as ‘head of Russia’ - Hindustan Times
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Gaffe Joe: Biden refers to Jinping as ‘head of Russia’, repeats debunked claim about travelling 17,000 miles with him

Feb 25, 2024 07:19 AM IST

Biden made his latest gaffe while speaking at East Room in the White House.

Even as Donald Trump romped home in the 2024 South Carolina GOP Primary, Joe Biden served up one of his traditional gaffes as he appeared to refer to Xi Jinping as ‘head of Russia’ before correcting himself.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo(REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Filoli estate on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, in Woodside, California, U.S., November 15, 2023. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo(REUTERS)

Speaking at the East Room in the White House where he was holding the Annual National Governors’ Association, Biden also repeated his debunked claim that he had travelled 17,000 miles with Xi Jinping.

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Biden said: “He (Obama) wanted me to get to know (then Vice President) Xi Jinping because it was clear he was going to be the head of Russia (corrects himself) uuuh China and we were having problems with Russia at the time and other countries as well. So what he (Obama) said was get to know him (Jinping), he is going to be there. He (Obama) couldn't because he was the President, so I travelled 17,000 miles with him throughout the country, in our country and in China as well. We were in the Tibet plateau and he turned to me and said: Can you define America for me? And I looked at him and suggested that I can in one word: Possibilities…”

Biden has repeated the claim about travelling 17,000 miles with Xi Jinping at least three times in the past and has been debunked by numerous outlets including the Washington Post.

While it’s true that Biden travelled to China in 2011 and spent three days there, they had travelled to a high school 50 miles away from the event. When Xi Jinping visited the States in 2012 and Joe Biden returned to China in 2013, watchers will still unable to come up with an explanation for how Biden arrived at this impressive number.

A White House official admitted the claim was “inaccurate”: "This was a reference to the total travel back and forth — both internally in the U.S. and China, and as well as internationally — for meetings they held together,” he said. “Some travel was in parallel, some was separately to joint destinations.”

In recent times, questions have been asked about the supposed declining mental health faculties of both candidates for the upcoming Presidential Election. Biden recently confused Egypt with Mexico while making a reference to the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Middle East. He confused French president Emmanuel Macron with Francois Mitterand, and German chancellor Helmut Kohl with Angela Merkel.

He has muddled up the Ukraine war with the Iraq War (that ended in 2011) claiming Putin was "clearly losing the war in Iraq". He also said God Save the Queen after a speech on gun control, with some wondering if he was referring to the deceased Queen Elizabeth II. He also accidentally referred to Rishi Sunak as Mr President (instead of Prime Minister).

Biden's numerous gaffes have led to questions about his mental competency. Donald Trump, who has his fair share of mendacious claims to back his gaffes, recently ribbed Biden by posting an ad claiming the White House was a ‘senior living facility’. Meanwhile, Nikki Haley has targeted both asking: "Is the best America can do two candidates in their 80s?)

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