Joe Biden’s political career started almost five decades ago. Needless to say, any one of us would make plenty of mistakes during that time – some worse than others. Aside from the questionable decisions he may have made politically, there’s just something that stands out so much about Biden: his verbal gaffes.
In fact, he even admitted to being a gaffe machine in 2018 – and I think no one can disagree with that statement. Whether we’re talking about inappropriate remarks he later regretted or totally unexpected affirmations, Joe Biden is definitely one to remember in terms of verbal stumbles.
However, he’s not the Delaware senator he was back in 1972; today, Biden is our president, one that must lead the country through one of the toughest times in a century. Will his gaffes ruin his political decisions or his relationship with politicians?
We don’t know yet, but we do know some of his remarks are remembered even now, several decades later.
Today, we’ll have a look at the top 12 most embarrassing gaffes Joe Biden made during his career. Ready?
The Obama offense (2007)
In 2007, Biden was Obama’s right hand as the vice-president of our country. Like any good ally, he was trying to praise the country’s first president of color… but no one could believe the words that actually came out of his mouth during an interview:
‘I mean, you’ve got the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean.’
I must admit that there are few moments more embarrassing than this one in recent politics – or moments that have had the same impact at the time.
Luckily, Barack Obama approached the statement respectfully with very few comments other that he didn’t take Biden’s comment personally.
The higher IQ (1987)
More than thirty years ago, Joe Biden was attending a house party in New Hampshire to start his first campaign for presidency.
At the time, he was serving as a Delaware senator.
One of the voters attending the party, high-school teacher Frank Fahey, asked Biden which law school he attended.
His reply? ‘I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect.’
Unfortunately for him, the scene was caught by C-Span reporters who released the footage a few months later when Biden was accused of plagiarism during college. Shortly after the incident, he gave up all intentions to run for president.
The ‘stupid bastards’ (2016)
In 2016, Joe Biden was invited to hold a speech to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing in Abu Dhabi.
He began his speech by praising himself for having elected a group officer to the Air Force Academy. The troops weren’t as excited as Biden hoped, though, with some of them refraining from clapping enthusiastically.
That’s when Biden snapped.
He added another remark and, quite literally, told everyone present ‘clap for that, you stupid bastards.’
What’s worse, he even felt offended when many service members were giving him ugly looks during the rest of the speech. But hey, at least it was a memorable event indeed!
Poor kids vs. white kids? (2019)
Joe Biden has made so many racial verbal gaffes that some people are starting to wonder whether he knows how to treat this issue correctly.
In 2019, for instance, Biden was holding a speech to several minority activists in Des Moines, Iowa. Everything was going great until a statement that silenced the room instantly:
‘Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.’
The pause made Biden realize quickly just what he’s done, so he tried to correct his statement quickly by adding that he was referring to wealthy, Asian or black kids too, not just the white ones.
But the damage was already done.
The fat liar (2019)
It seems like 2019 was definitely not a good year for Biden in terms of spicy remarks. Another episode regards a retired Iowa farmer who was particularly honest.
When farmer Merle Gorman met Biden he told him directly that he’s too old to become president; then, he also mentioned Hunter Biden’s scandal with the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
‘You’re a damn liar,’ an angry Biden responded before everyone could even process what was going on.
Then, out of the blue, the farmer challenged Biden to a series of push-ups insisting on the fact that he’s ‘not sedentary.’
At some point Biden just exploded saying ‘Look, look, fat, look. Here’s the deal.’
It didn’t take long until the incident became viral. Symone D. Sanders, Biden’s advisor at the time, repeatedly declared that he actually said ‘facts’ instead of ‘fat’ but her efforts were hopeless.
The lying student (2020)
Clearly, Joe Biden can’t stand liars – but was a 21-year-old college student lying when she asked the president a simple question?
Just a week after his fourth-place finish at the Iowa caucuses, Biden attended a campaign rally in Hampton, NH.
There, student Madison Moore asked him why voters should believe he can win the presidential race and how he can explain his Iowa loss.
Biden asked her if she’s ever been to a caucus, to which the student replied ‘yes.’
‘No, you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier.’
Shortly after the incident, Madison Moore declared that she felt ‘humiliated’ by Biden’s words and pointed out his inability to answer a ‘simple question.’
The ‘black’ argument (2020)
One of the most heavily debated topics of 2020 was regarding racism, particularly the one targeted at Americans of color. Former President Donald Trump had a major influence in sparking racial conflict, which has convinced many black Americans to cast their vote on Joe Biden.
However, Biden became questionable too after an interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God for his show ‘Breakfast Club.’
At the end of the interview, the host told Biden that there’s still a long way until Election Day and that our nation has more questions.
Here’s what Biden replied:
‘You got more questions? Well I’m telling you, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.’
It wasn’t long until the argument became viral and many minority groups started wondering whether the Democrats were, in fact, racists as well. Biden later apologized for his words admitting that he made a mistake.
The Indian accent (2006)
Before embarking on the presidential run as Obama’s running mate, Biden tried to run for president himself.
During an early rally, he told a voter that the majority of the population in Delaware has an Indian-American descent. That was fine.
What was not fine was his following statement:
‘You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. And I’m not joking.’
Several Indian-American local groups reacted quickly by declaring that Biden’s statement was ‘embarrassing.’ However, Dr. Raghavendra Vijayanagar from the Indian-American Republican Council expressed his gratitude that Biden is thinking about his community as well.
The Vice-Presidential debate (2012)
If you’re looking for a debate to remember, just re-watch the vice-presidential talk between Joe Biden and Republican opponent from the time Paul Ryan.
In short, the 90-minute debate was mostly filled with Biden’s ironical remarks, interruptions and eye-rolling – the same gestures that actually made Donald Trump popular in a negative way.
When Paul Ryan began to explain how the tax-cut plan issued by GOP looked a lot like Kennedy’s plan from 1960, Biden snapped:
‘Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?!’
News reports from the time said that Joe Biden interrupted Ryan a total of 85 times. Now that we think about the first presidential debate between Biden and Trump in 2020, the two moments seem nothing less than ironical.
Developing ‘some disease’ (2021)
Last, but not least, we just have to include this one to our list of gaffes. A little over a week ago, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were attending a CNN interview together.
At some point, reporters asked the president how he would resolve a serious disagreement with his vice-president to avoid conflict.
‘I will develop some disease and say I have to resign.’
Kamala Harris was just standing there in bewilderment trying to figure out an alternative answer that would get the two out of the embarrassing moment. Looking at the other gaffes on this list, though, this one might be the most harmless one.
While some are still being bothered by some of his racial gaffes, others are praising him for trying to improve our national situation during such difficult times.
But the real question that matters is what do you think about Joe Biden? Did you vote for him last year? Are you still supporting him months into his presidency? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section and let’s chat, because knowledge is power!
If you still feel like you don’t know our current president enough to have a solid opinion, our other resources below might help you out:
- Vaccination Milestone for Biden (2021 updated)
- Everything You Should Know About Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Rescue Plan
- Fast-Fact Tuesday: 20 Things You Should Know About Joe Biden