The Iowa State Fair and politics go together like chips and dip. As the fun festivities got underway last week, the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders set out to sway voters in The Hawkeye State. One particular candidate certainly got loads of attention. Unfortunately for him, it was for all the wrong reasons.
Gaffe-prone former Vice President Joe Biden told reporters on August 9, 2019 that he was vice president when a deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida occurred. But, interestingly, the tragedy happened more than a year after President Donald Trump was elected — and Mike Pence became Vice President.
“Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president,” he said.
Biden relayed how when the Parkland survivors visited Capitol Hill to speak with lawmakers, members of Congress were “basically cowering, not wanting to see them. They did not want to face it on camera.”
The mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida occurred on February 14, 2018, almost 13 months after Biden left his post as vice president. TheBlaze reported that “A Biden campaign official claimed Biden confused Parkland with the Sandy Hook tragedy that happened more than five years prior in Dec. 2012.” However, this apparently didn’t prevent the former vice president from repeating the gaffe.
Michele Goldberg tweeted, “I heard him say this onstage at the gun control town hall this morning. If he said the same thing to reporters, it’s more than a slip of the tongue.”
Likewise, Timothy Burke tweeted, “The Parkland shooting happened more than a year after Joe Biden left office. This is one of two different times today he claimed he met with survivors of it ‘when I was Vice President.’”
This obvious misstatement alone might be enough to make some Biden supporters nervous. But, it wasn’t the only egregious gaffe the 2020 Democratic presidential front runner made last week.
After the horrendous tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, the former vice president remarked that the shootings took place in Houston and Michigan. On August 8, 2019, while talking about racial inequality in education, Biden inferred that minority students are poor, and white kids are rich.
“Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids!” the former VP said.
Seemingly realizing his horrible blunder, Biden reportedly swiftly added, “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.” However, the damage had already been done.
According to the Washington Examiner, the 2020 Democratic presidential front runner’s campaign even released a statement to clarify his error that read Biden “misspoke and immediately corrected himself during a refrain he often uses to make the point that all children deserve a fair shot, and children born into lower-income circumstances are just as smart as those born to wealthy parents.” On August 10, 2019, Biden informed reporters that he misspoke on the “poor kids” remark. But, he felt that overall people understood the point he was attempting to make. The former vice president commented, “I don’t think anybody thinks I meant anything other than what I said I meant.”
In yet another goof-up last week, Biden maintained that Democrats believe in “facts, not truth.” Ribbing the 2020 Democratic presidential front runner, Trump tweeted, “Joe Biden just said, ‘We believe in facts, not truth.’ Does anybody really believe he is mentally fit to be president? We are ‘playing’ in a very big and complicated world. Joe doesn’t have a clue!”
After his latest stumbles, some Democrats are undoubtedly wondering whether Biden has the mental and physical stamina to compete with Trump next year. Of course, the former vice president’s proneness to making gaffes didn’t start recently. He’s famous for them. It remains to be seen whether Biden’s misstatements will derail him in the Democratic presidential primary, or cause him to be a weak nominee against an energetic, clever Trump in the general election.