Critics sounded the alarm on Monday afternoon after President Joe Biden appeared to forget the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and the Pentagon during a press conference, with some bringing up the 25th Amendment.
The incident happened during the end of a press conference on International Women’s Day in which Vice President Kamala Harris and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke.
“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.”
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.”
Grabien founder Tom Elliott clipped the video of the incident and wrote: “Whoops: Biden forgets the name of the Pentagon, as well as the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin.”
Byron York, chief political correspondent at the Washington Examiner, also noted the incident, writing: “It appears he was referring to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who does indeed run that outfit over there, meaning the Department of Defense.”
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
Critics were quick to draw attention to the issue with many mentioning the 25th Amendment—which allows a president to be removed from office if they are deemed to be unfit—while others suggested that the apparent incident was an example of why Biden has still not given a solo press conference after being in office for 48 days, which is by far the longest in modern history.
Bryan Dean Wright, a former CIA officer who recently announced he was leaving the Democratic Party, wrote: “This is why we have the 25th Amendment.”
This is why we have the 25th Amendment. https://t.co/IIqsxElPOG
— BDW (@BryanDeanWright) March 8, 2021
Jason Rantz, a Seattle-based conservative radio host, wrote: “President Biden forgot the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. And that whole Pentagon place. Also: Senators and House members want to take away Biden’s war powers. It all makes sense now!”
President Biden forgot the name of his secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. And that whole Pentagon place.
Also: Senators and House members want to take away Biden’s war powers.
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) March 9, 2021
Mark Krikorian, executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote: “This is why his handlers can’t let him hold a press conference or answer questions.”
This is why his handlers can't let him hold a press conference or answer questions. https://t.co/6kUDXpTKG8
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) March 8, 2021
Harrison Fields, communications director for Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), wrote: “All jokes aside, the cognitive decline we are witnessing on days we are allowed to see @POTUS should concern everyone.”
.@KamalaHarris waiting to be sworn in as the next President.
— Harrison Fields (@hfields95) March 8, 2021
Brent Scher, executive editor at the Free Beacon, wrote: “Where are the 25th amendment folks? We had medical experts on CNN 24/7 because Twitter thought Trump might be slurring his words.”
Where are the 25th amendment folks? We had medical experts on CNN 24/7 because Twitter thought Trump might be slurring his words. https://t.co/eD84PlxjsD
— Brent Scher (@BrentScher) March 8, 2021
Political commentator Dave Rubin wrote: “The scandal is the non-scandal.”
The scandal is the non-scandal. https://t.co/lz8QbF2eMY
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) March 8, 2021
Charles Brady, editorial executive at Fox Business, wrote: “It’s no wonder Biden’s staff won’t let him hold a press conference.”
It’s no wonder Biden’s staff won’t let him hold a press conference. https://t.co/RweA9i03e0
— Charles Brady (@Brady_FBN) March 8, 2021
Political commentator Stephen Miller mockingly wrote: “This is fine.”
This is fine. https://t.co/ZHYAUyIb92
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) March 8, 2021
Author Austin Ruse wrote: “Oh my gosh. He’s not there.”
Oh my gosh. He’s not there. https://t.co/9iqGzS1GS2
— Austin Ruse (@austinruse) March 8, 2021
Political commentator Rita Panahi wrote: “At what point will the bulk of the mainstream media become interested in these, err, lapses.”
At what point will the bulk of the mainstream media become interested in these, err, lapses. https://t.co/QHeqqLPcTe
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) March 8, 2021
Elijah Schaffer, podcast host at The Blaze, wrote: “Who is running our country?”
Who is running our country?
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) March 9, 2021
This article has been updated to include additional reaction from political commentators, and to note that Bryan Dean Wright recently announced he left the Democratic Party.