Joe Biden’s ‘Mitterrand’ Mix-Up Sparks Widespread Mockery


President Joe Biden has been mocked after appearing to confuse the current French President, Emmanuel Macron, with the country’s former leader Francois Mitterrand, who died in 1996.

As the 2024 presidential election campaign kicks off in earnest, critics of the Democrat have slammed him over his age. At 81, the Democrat is the oldest person ever to be president, and his tenure has long been marred by claims he lacks the mental fitness for the position. Detractors have pointed to his verbal gaffes and physical mishaps, such as stumbling on the steps of Air Force One, as evidence for his incapability. Newsweek contacted a representative for Biden by email to comment on this story.

Supporters, in turn, have counterargued that Biden is in strong mental and physical shape for his advanced age, and attributed his gaffes and other speech issues to a life-long struggle with speaking problems.

One Biden verbal gaffe occurred during a speech to hospitality workers in Las Vegas on Monday ahead of Nevada’s primary on Tuesday, when the Democrat told an anecdote about speaking with world leaders at the G7 summit in England in 2021.

“It was in south of England and I sat down and I said: ‘America’s back,” Biden said. “And Mitterrand from Germany, I mean from France, looked at me and said: “You know, how long you back for?”

Joe Biden gives remarks during the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol on February 1, 2024 in Washington, DC. During a Las Vegas speech, the president appeared to confuse the…

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Macron has been in office since 2017. Mitterrand, on the other hand, was in office from 1981 to 1995.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, the U.S. president was mocked. Conservative podcaster Graham Allen wrote of Biden’s mistake: “This is not a healthy sign.”

Another X user posted: “Joe Biden has revealed his superpower. He can talk to the ghosts of deceased European leaders.”

A third commented: “He also met Santa Claus during Christmas!”

And a fourth added: “No rational person can look at this clip and reasonably claim that Biden is good for another 4 years. In addition to flubbing the name of a world leader, just listen to his cadence. He’s stumbling, searching for words and just clearly not mentally all there.”

Last week, Biden referred to his rival Donald Trump as a “sitting president” in another gaffe, implying he is currently holding office. In a campaign speech, he also appeared to slur his words.

However, 77-year-old Trump too has been criticized for his errors such as recently appearing to confuse his GOP 2024 presidential nomination rival Nikki Haley with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and appearing to slur his words during a January rally.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.