President Joe Biden mixed up former German Chancellor Angela Merkel with late German leader Helmut Kohl twice while speaking at campaign events in New York on Wednesday, the second time this week the president has confused European leaders and the latest in a series of gaffes.
Biden, 81, said “Helmut Kohl” asked how he would respond if he read that an event similar to the Jan. 6 riot occurred in Britain when recalling a 2021 conversation at a G7 event about the Capitol riots with several world leaders, according to a White House pool reporter who attended the New York fundraiser.
Kohl served as Germany’s chancellor from 1982 to 1998 and died in 2017, and Merkel was the country’s leader at the time of Biden’s conversation.
Earlier this week at a Las Vegas campaign event, Biden confused French President Emmanuel Macron with late President François Mitterrand—who led the country from 1981 to 1995 and died in 1996—while telling a similar story about the G7 summit.
During that event, Biden claimed he declared “America is back” in 2021, and “Mitterrand from Germany — I mean France — looked at me and said, ‘How long you back for?’”
The White House did not immediately respond to Forbes’ requests for comment.
“And then Helmut Kohl turned to me and said, ‘What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the London Times and learned that 1,000 people had broken down the doors of the British parliament, killed some bobbies on the way in, to deny the prime minister to take office,”’ Biden said, according to Bloomberg.
Former President Donald Trump, 77, has also had several verbal mix-ups in recent months, confusing Biden with former President Barack Obama at least seven times as of November. Trump later claimed he was intentionally mixing them up.
Biden has had a series of physical and verbal slip-ups throughout his presidency, which critics have attributed to his age. In July, he mistakenly said “over 100 Americans” died from Covid, a mistake that was later fixed in official White House transcripts. And, in June, Biden mistakenly said Russian President Vladmir Putin was losing the ‘war in Iraq.’ During a 2022 event on food insecurity, Biden called out onstage for Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who had died a month earlier.
Biden confuses Macron with Mitterrand (who died in 1996) (Politico)
Biden Slips On Air Force One Stairs After Staff Try To Prevent Major Falls—As Gaffes Raise Concerns About His Age (Forbes)
Biden Confuses Taylor Swift With Britney Spears After Joking About His Age On His 81st Birthday (Forbes)