Despite President Donald Trump’s continued challenges to the reported results of last month’s election, Democratic nominee Joe Biden appears poised to take office on Inauguration Day.
Some recent comments from the former vice president, however, are fueling speculation over who would really be in charge in a prospective Biden administration by referring to his running mate as the “president-elect.”
“Clearly and unambiguously urge all Americans”
In a video clip shared via Twitter by the Washington Examiner this week, Biden spoke to Americans about issues including the ongoing effort to deliver doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine to strategic locations across the nation.
“I hope the president will clearly and unambiguously urge all Americans to take the vaccine once it’s available,” he said.
Biden’s remarks came as he stood behind a podium and in front of a blue backdrop identifying the “Office of the President Elect.”
“To instill public confidence in the vaccine”
It was Harris, however, who received the title as Biden emphasized the importance of receiving an inoculation.
“I took it to instill public confidence in the vaccine,” he continued. “President-elect Harris took hers today for the same reason.”
Of course, the California senator is slated to become vice-president — but this was not the first time Biden has made such an apparent verbal gaffe regarding his running mate.
“Develop some disease”
During a CNN interview earlier in the month, an apparent attempt at a joke failed to land when he told host Jake Tapper that he would “develop some disease” and say he has “to resign” if he and Harris reach a “fundamental disagreement” on an important matter.
Many Americans are more attuned to such rhetoric when it comes from the 78-year-old Biden, whom a majority of voters believe would not be able to complete a full term in the White House.
Harris has also prompted some related confusion in September when she spoke of “a Harris administration” and its approach to small-business loans before correcting herself.
Given his advanced age and a penchant for gaffes, many observers have openly predicted that Biden would largely serve as a figurehead in his own administration.