Since Joe Biden entered the 2020 presidential race, there have been ongoing concerns regarding his mental acuity. Instances of confusion are dismissed as lovable Biden “gaffes,” and lapses in speech are chalked up to a resurgence of Biden’s childhood stutter.
At this point, however, the concerns are growing beyond such characterizations, with Biden appearing to forget even the names of close cabinet members or former running mates.
Here is a look back at the times Biden’s memory seems to have slipped.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Pentagon
During a press conference on March 8, President Joe Biden appeared to forget both the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Pentagon.
“I want to thank you both and I want to thank the sec-, the, the, ugh, the former general, I keep calling him general but my, my, ugh, the guy who runs that outfit over there,’ Biden said. “I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we’ve just talked about and for recommending these two women for promotion. Thank you all and God bless you all and may God protect our troops.”
As Ryan Saavedra noted for the Daily Wire, “The surprising part about Biden’s remarks was that approximately a minute earlier he did remember Austin’s name, referring to him as ‘Secretary Austin.’”
Whoops: Biden forgets the name of the Pentagon, as well as the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin pic.twitter.com/ZtcgHLBIAO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) March 8, 2021
Defense Secretary Austin served throughout the Obama administration, as Director of the Joint Staff between August 2009 to June 2010, as Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army between January 2012 and March 2013, and Commander of the United States Central Command between March 2013 and March 2016.
Joe Biden has forgotten, or “misremembered,” Barack Obama on a few occasions. Speaking to a crowd in Ohio in 2012 while criticizing a Mitt Romney campaign advertisement, then-Vice President Joe Biden said “that the ad claimed that ‘President Clinton bankrupted Chrysler so that Italians could buy it to ship jobs overseas to China.’” As the Daily Mail noted, “Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the U.S. and left office in January 2001. Barack Obama became the 44th president in January 2009 and for the past nearly four years Biden has served as his vice-president.”
During a town hall meeting in 2019, Biden couldn’t seem to think of Barack Obama’s name.
“He’s [Donald Trump] saying that it was President…” Biden trails off, trying to come up with Obama’s name. “…my boss, his [Barack Obama] fault.”
Joe Biden appears to forget Barack Obama's name pic.twitter.com/ffyaqSHYBA
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 28, 2019
In fact, this is such a regular occurrence that RedState posted a piece in March of 2020 titled “Joe Biden Keeps Forgetting Barack Obama’s Name and It’s Getting Uncomfortable.” GOP Rapid Response Director Steve Guest also shared a Twitter thread listing the times Biden “misremembered” his friend’s name.
“By the way, are you gonna stick with President on the following, President [pause], the last guy, on this issue?”
On multiple occasions, Joe Biden has forgot Barack Obama’s name.
"By the way, are you gonna stick with President on the following, President [awkward pause], the last guy, on this issue?"https://t.co/SUUXnsJpwy
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 5, 2020
“Because they invaded another country and annexed a significant portion of it called Crimea. He’s saying that it was President [pause] my boss. It was his fault.”
Pledge of Allegiance
During a September campaign event in Wisconsin, Biden appeared to butcher the words to the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation, indivisible, under God, for real,” Biden said.
Joe Biden completely botches the Pledge of Allegiance:
"I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation, indivisible, under God, for real." pic.twitter.com/Gct4AEVWog
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 21, 2020
The Declaration of Independence
During a March campaign event in Texas, Biden also appeared to forget the words of the Declaration of Independence.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created by- go- you know- you know the thing,” said Biden.
Joe Biden quoting the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women created by- go- you know- you know the thing.”
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) March 2, 2020
In October 2020, it appeared that Joe Biden forgot the name of 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“You may remember,” Biden told reporters, “I got in trouble when we were running against that senator who was a Mormon, the governor.”
Joe Biden on #AmyConeyBarrett: "Her faith should not be considered… You may remember I got in trouble when we were running against the senator who was a Mormon, the governor." pic.twitter.com/R2brDDTXbs
— The Hill (@thehill) October 13, 2020
Speaking in the Senate in 2017, then-Vice President Biden briefly believed it to be 2007.
“34 senators elected for six year terms beginning January 3, 2007. All certificates…” said Biden. After a pause, he corrected himself, saying “seventeen.”
In October, on the same day that he appeared to forget what state he was in and Mitt Romney’s name, Biden declared that, “You know, we have to come together. That’s why I’m running as a proud Democrat for the Senate.”
Joe Biden **so far today**:
▶️Forgot which state he was in. (Tweeted that he was in Pennsylvania when he was actually in Ohio)
▶️Forgot Mitt Romney's name and instead referred to him as "a Mormon."
▶️Forgot which office he was running for. pic.twitter.com/wxgMfpdq0B
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) October 12, 2020
This wasn’t the first time such a mistake occurred, with Biden making the same claim the previous February.
“My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate…if you don’t like me, you can vote for the other Biden,” he said.
Joe Biden: "My name is Joe Biden. I'm a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate…if you don't like me, you can vote for the other Biden."
Joe Biden is running for… Senate? pic.twitter.com/7EcO3ajAOu
— Jessica O’Donnell (@heckyessica) February 25, 2020
Speaking on ABC’s “Jimmel Kimmel Live,” the host had to remind Biden of Merrick Garland’s name.
“Back when, when they were holding up before Trump got elected, they were holding up, uh, um, the nomination of the president put forward for the Supreme Court,” Biden said.
“Merrick Garland,” Kimmel added.
“Merrick Garland, a really fine man,” Biden replied.
Joe Biden forgets Merrick Garland’s name, peace be upon him. pic.twitter.com/LqG7o81wc3
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 26, 2019
In 2012, Biden confused the name of “Virginia senatorial candidate, former governor, former DNC chair, and close Obama friend, Tim Kaine.”
“I want to tell you, it’s good to be in a state that’s going to be represented by Tim Kaine,” Biden said. “What a guy! There is a decent honorable man. That man has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their whole body. I’m a big Tom Kaine fan, a big Tom Kaine fan.”
Then, on multiple occasions, Biden appears to have forgotten which state he’s in, confusing New Hampshire for Vermont and Iowa for Ohio.
Joe Biden forgot what state he was in. AGAIN.
He told an Iowan, in Iowa: “you are in the state of Ohio.”pic.twitter.com/GsVy7tEyy8
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) April 25, 2020
Joe Biden forgot what state he was in.pic.twitter.com/wJ9FEzi1AC
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) April 25, 2020
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.