President Joe Biden incorrectly stated during a speech on Tuesday that his son died while serving in Iraq as he also initially blamed global inflation on the “war in Iraq,” before correcting himself.
Biden’s latest verbal blunder happened while he was speaking at an event in Hallandale Beach, Florida, discussing inflation, medicare, and social security.
“They talk about inflation … inflation is a worldwide problem right now because of a war in Iraq and the impact on oil and what Russia is doing,” the president told the event.
“I mean … the war in Ukraine,” he added, correcting himself. The commander-in-chief said that he confused the Iraq War—which ended its armed conflict over a decade ago—with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine because of his late son Beau Biden.
“I’m thinking of Iraq because that’s where my son died,” Biden claimed. He then added “because he died,” possibly referring to Biden’s belief that his son died due to exposure to toxic burn pits in Iraq, before he jumped to another topic, deeming the United States as having the “lowest inflation rate of almost any major country.”
Beau, a two-term attorney general of Delaware and a decorated war veteran passed away in May 2015 at the age of 46 after a battle with brain cancer at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
He served a yearlong stint in Iraq from 2008 to 2009, which included a 7-month deployment in the combat zone.
It isn’t the first time Biden claimed Beau “lost his life in Iraq.” Earlier this month, the president made a similar statement while speaking in Colorado as he designated Camp Hale a national monument.
“I say this as a father of a man who won the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Medal, and lost his life in Iraq,” Biden said on Oct. 12.
During a speech in 2019, Biden said he believes toxins found in smoke from burning waste at U.S. military installations in Iraq could have attributed to Beau’s death, though he noted; “I can’t prove it yet.”
“Because of exposure to burn pits, in my view—I can’t prove it yet—he came back with stage 4 glioblastoma,” Biden said at the time. “Eighteen months he lived, knowing he was going to die.”
On Aug. 10, Biden signed the PACT Act aimed at helping military veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits. It eliminated a requirement to prove exposure to the substances, which supporters of the measure said meant that many veterans who were exposed hadn’t received government care.
‘Not a Joke’
Biden has been hammered on social media by critics for making a number of bizarre verbal miscues in his recent speeches.
Last week, the president claimed at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania that there are “54 states” in the United States, despite the fact that there are only 50.
While describing how Democrats have worked on improving health care by defending the “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) from being replaced, Biden told people at the event that Democrats campaigned in “54 states” to prevent the federal statute from being dismantled.
“Not a joke, everybody; that’s why we defeated it in 2018 when they tried to do it. We went to 54 states,” the president said proudly.
Since Biden took office, videos showing the 79-year-old president making verbal miscues or other gaffes have become commonplace, raising concerns about his age and cognitive ability. In another recent mishap, he incorrectly called out to Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who had died in a car crash weeks before.
Biden recently agreed that questions about his age are “totally legitimate” ahead of the 2024 election, though noting that he’s “in good health” and “everything physically about me is still functioning well, and mentally, too.”
In just a few weeks, Biden—already the oldest sitting president—will turn 80 years old. If Biden were to win reelection in 2024, he would be 86 at the end of his second term.