Gaffe-prone President Biden evoked winces from his entourage Saturday as he spoke of the “selfishness” of American troops on the final day of his trip to the Middle East.
“For the first time since 9/11, an American President is visiting this region without American troops being engaged in combat — in a combat mission in the region,” Biden said during a speech to the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“We’ll always honor the bravery and selfishness — selflessness of the — and sacrifices of the Americans who served, including my son, Major Beau Biden, who was stationed in Iraq for a year,” he said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken blinked hard and shifted uncomfortably in his seat as his boss made the unfortunate verbal stumble, which the White House later noted in its official transcript.
The awkward comment came two days after Biden shocked listeners in Israel by speaking of the “honor of the Holocaust” during an official visit.
He corrected himself on that occasion as well, quickly saying “horror of the Holocaust,” as the line was written.
It was the latest in a long list of malapropisms and misstatements from the 79-year-old president, who in recent days has erroneously spoken of the “1918” mass shooting at Parkland High School and blurted out an apparent stage direction — “repeat the line” — in a teleprompter blunder straight out of Will Ferrell’s comedy classic “Anchorman.”
Mary Kay Linge