Joe Biden made quite a splash into the Democratic presidential primary when he officially announced his candidacy but he has done little since.
Choosing to kick start his presidential campaign in Pennsylvania—often an important state for presidential candidates in the general election—a resounding 600 people showed up for his first rally.
During the initial speech, Biden exhibited a number of moments of slurred speech. His next speech in South Carolina did not do him any favors as he mixed up the names of current British Prime Minister Theresa May with former British PM Margaret Thatcher.
From the Washington Examiner:
Thatcher left office in 1990 and died in 2013. The mistake by Biden, 76, comes amid worries about his age after he slurred his words during his campaign announcement speech. Aides have shielded him from reporters. He leads early primary polls by a wide margin but the Democratic Party establishment has yet to swing behind him.
“Margaret Thatcher, um, excuse me, Margaret Thatcher — Freudian slip,” Biden said to laughter, according to a campaign pool report. “But I knew her too.” He then corrected himself by saying: “The Prime Minister of Great Britain Theresa May.”
Thatcher, who led the Conservative Party and was the first female British prime minister, served as prime minister during the 1988 U.S. election campaign. Biden made his first White House run then, but dropped out in late 1987 after backlash for plagiarizing a speech by Neil Kinnock, the U.K. Labour Party leader and a fierce critic of Thatcher.
He used Thatcher’s name when telling the donors he had heard from 14 heads of state from around the world who’ve voiced concerns to him about President Trump. That list included Thatcher, he said, before correcting the “Freudian slip,” saying he was referring to May. The U.K. head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, not the prime minister.
Biden’s age has been an issue his opponents have brought up before and these two showings only help these concerns. While Biden’s fellow primary candidates have been shy in mentioning the age concerns, it is sure to come up at some point.
Biden addressed concerns about his age during an interview with a South Carolina TV station, “All I say is watch me. Determine whether I have the energy or not to do it. But I have significant experience. I have learned a great deal. I have learned from the past.”