To most, it’s become clear that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is no longer as mentally sharp as he once was. His occasional gaffes are increasing in frequency, as are his moments of forgetfulness and stumblingly incoherent statements.
It was all on display on Thursday at a roundtable discussion event in Philadelphia. Biden appeared to lose his train of thought while reading prepared remarks at one point and mixed up a number of pertinent details in an attempt to criticize President Donald Trump at another, the Washington Examiner reported.
Stumbling, bumbling Biden
While discussing the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to reopen the economy, Biden lost track of what he was attempting to say while reading his notes on the table directly in front of him.
“Ya know, the rapidly rising, uh, um, uhh — and with a — with, uh, I don’t know, um — h-h-he’s just — inability to focus on any federal responsibility,” Biden said, presumably in reference to President Trump. Watch:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 11, 2020
Republicans and Trump supporters seized on the clip as an example of Biden’s apparent “inability to focus on” the words printed in front of him and to formulate those words into a coherent thought.
Juneteenth and Tulsa … what?
As embarrassing as that was, it wasn’t Biden’s only mistake. Biden fumbled basic facts as he attempted to echo Democratic attacks and insinuations of racism against President Trump with regard to a planned campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was initially scheduled for June 19, as reported separately by the Examiner.
“He’s going down to Texas on Juneteenth, right? The first major massacre, literally speaking, of the Black Wall Street, right? Years ago,” Biden said.
The Trump campaign’s “War Room” Twitter account wasted no time in pointing out three major mistakes in that brief statement — Trump was scheduled to go to Tulsa, not Texas, on June 19, Juneteenth is a celebration of emancipation, and the wholly unrelated massacre of Black Wall Street occurred in Tulsa.
Joe Biden doesn’t know what Juneteenth is:
“He’s going down to Texas on Juneteenth, right? The first major massacre … of the Black Wall Street, right?”
1. President Trump is going to Texas today, not June 19
2. Juneteenth is about emancipation
3. The massacre was in Oklahoma pic.twitter.com/vpNDQLwqBj
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 & get the APP (@TrumpWarRoom) June 11, 2020
Just the facts, Jack
As the Examiner pointed out, Juneteenth marks June 19, 1865, when a Union Army General Gordon Granger entered Galveston, Texas after the Civil War had ended and proclaimed to all of the slaves there that they had been freed.
The massacre comment was a reference to the deadly race riot that occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 1, 1921, when a white mob looted and burned down businesses and homes and murdered dozens, if not hundreds, of black residents living in an area that was known as Black Wall Street because of its prosperity.
For what it is worth, President Trump responded to concerns regarding the significance of June 19 date and has changed the date of his rally to June 20 out of respect.
“We had previously scheduled our #MAGA Rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for June 19th – a big deal. Unfortunately, however, this would fall on the Juneteenth Holiday. Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out…of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents. I have therefore decided to move our rally to Saturday, June 20th, in order to honor their requests…We have already had ticket requests in excess of 200,000 people. I look forward to seeing everyone in Oklahoma!” Trump tweeted on Friday.