Confused Biden mistakenly names long-dead French president in campaign speech

 February 6, 2024

President Joe Biden uttered a significant gaffe in a speech on Sunday in which he mistakenly named a long-dead former president of France instead of the current president as a key figure in a recitation of an oft-told story about a 2021 G7 summit, The Hill reported.

Biden not only erroneously mentioned deceased French President Francois Mitterand, who died in 1996, rather than current leader Emmanuel Macron, but also initially misstated that he was from Germany before correcting himself to say France.

The incident was merely the latest example of why an overwhelming majority of the American people, including even most Democrats, have serious concerns about Biden's physical and mental health as the 81-year-old incumbent seeks a second term in the White House.

Biden's egregious errors

On Sunday evening, President Biden delivered a campaign speech in Las Vegas, Nevada, that contained several gaffes and mistakes along with numerous misleading or outright false statements about his own supposed accomplishments as well as about his chief political rival and predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Near the end of his remarks, Biden launched into yet another recitation of a story he has told dozens of times before in other speeches about the June 2021 G7 economic summit he attended shortly after taking office that year, but made multiple mistakes about an alleged key participant in the oft-repeated tale.

At the G7 meeting, Biden claimed, "And I sat down and I said, 'America is back.' And Mitterrand, from Germany -- I mean, from France -- looked at me and said -- said, 'You know, what -- why -- how long you back for?'"

"And I looked at him, and the -- and the Chancellor of Germany said, 'What would you say, Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow in the London Times, and London Times said, 'A thousand people break through the House of Commons, break down the doors, two Bobbies are killed in order to stop the election of the Prime Minister.' What would you say?'" Biden added in reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

Called out and corrected

There were multiple major errors in those couple of lines from President Biden's speech, the first of which was his mistake about who was the president of France in the story he has told several dozen times over the past few years.

According to French media outlet Le Monde, Biden confused his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, with Francois Mitterrand, who served as president of France from 1981 until 1995 and died in 1996 about a year later after leaving office.

Biden's mistake was duly noted and later corrected by his team at the White House, who crossed out Mitterrand's name and added in Macron's in brackets in the official transcript of the president's remarks.

The confusion over the French president was not the only glaring error in that story, however, as Biden also clearly insinuated that police officers were "killed" by protesters in his sharing of the alleged commentary from the German chancellor about a mob breaking into the British House of Commons to stop an election.

According to, no police officers died during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot -- one died of natural causes the next day and several others committed suicide in the following weeks and months -- yet Biden has on multiple occasions falsely implied that law enforcement officers were murdered by Trump supporters at the Capitol building.

Three-quarters of Americans, including half of Democrats, are worried about Biden's mental health

President Biden's gaffes and misstatements about the French president coincide with a new NBC News poll which found that a combined 81% of voters had either "major" (62%), "moderate" (14%), or "minor concerns" (13%) about Biden "not having the necessary mental and physical health to be president for a second term."

Furthermore, it isn't just his political opposition who have such worries, as of the combined 76% of voters with "major" and "moderate" concerns about Biden's mental and physical health, that number includes an unsurprising 95% of Republicans but also 81% of independents and even 54% of Democrats.

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