Gaffe-prone US President Joe Biden raised some eyebrows as he touted his ‘Build Back Better’ plan on Wednesday in his native hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
Joe Biden is no stranger to delivering “word salad” when speaking publicly, and his Wednesday attempt to garner public support for his domestic agenda – the Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill – fed into the increasing pattern of awkwardness accompanying his speeches.
The Build Back Better bill focused on a long list of social policies and programs, ranging from education and healthcare to housing to climate, has been mired in GOP opposition and Democratic Party infighting over the vast scale of proposed government spending. As the US President touted his sweeping package, in which he promised to invest in Pennsylvania’s roads, bridges and public transportation, he appeared to say he commuted on Amtrak for 36 years as vice president.
Biden, speaking in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said:
“I commuted [on Amtrak] every single day for 36 years as vice president of the United States after my wife and daughter were killed, I went home to see my family, never stopped.”
Joe Biden, 78, served as President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017. Biden is known to have used the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, or Amtrak, passenger service between Washington and his home in Wilmington, Delaware, during his time in the Senate and White House as vice president.
The current POTUS’s first wife and their infant daughter Naomi died in a car crash in 1972, when Biden was senator-elect in Delaware. As often is the case with Joe Biden’s gaffes and blunders peppering his speeches, the statement became the butt of jokes among netizens.
With Joe Biden increasingly known for his bizarre remarks, Press Secretary Jen Psaki earlier said that the White House communications team “a lot of times” instructs the president not to take questions.
Furthermore, some White House staffers appear to mute or turn off their TVs when the President is delivering remarks, according to a Politico report earlier in October. Staffers are reportedly driven by concerns he may undermine the White House’s “carefully orchestrated messaging”.