Comments from President Joe Biden asking about the mother of a guest attending an event at the White House on Monday have gone viral and critics of the president have jumped on the confusion.
At an event marking the 31st Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Biden once asked artist Tyree Brown, “Where’s Mom?”
He also used the false name for Rep. Jim Langevin, a Democrat who represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District and who was the first paraplegic person in US Congress. While greeting the participants by name, Biden only said the first part of Langevin’s last name and then misidentified his first name.
Biden said, “Chairperson Leahy, Leader McCarthy, Senator Casey, Congressman Scott, Congressman La – where is he?”
“There you are, Paul,” said Biden. “You understand this better than anyone. And I want to thank you, Congressman, for all of your work. And I want to thank you all for being here. “
However, Biden was referring to MP Langevin, whose first name is Jim. The White House minutes of the event contained his mistake, but noted Langevin’s correct first name in square brackets.
Immediately after speaking to Langevin, Biden turned to Brown, a Maryland artist, who introduced the President before his remarks. He asked her if her mother was there.
“Second – by the way, where is mom? Mom – is she here? ”Asked Biden.
According to the White House transcript, Brown replied, “She is home watching.”
“Oh, she’s watching,” said Biden, and Brown replied, “She’s watching.”
Joe Biden forgets a congressman’s name and then confuses whether a guest’s mother is attending the event.
“Where is mama? Mama?” pic.twitter.com/YxOMsKprQr
– RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 26, 2021
“OK. I thought she looked – I said, ‘Mom is out there.’ I wanted to ask her to get up. But mom, you can’t get up when you’re home, “said Biden.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) Research Twitter account shared a video of the President’s remarks to Langevin and Brown, which has now been viewed 6,800 times. A recent YouTube video posted from the GOP War Room account has been viewed over 106,000 at the time of writing
“Joe Biden forgets a congressman’s name and then confuses whether a guest’s mom is attending the event. Where’s mom? Mom?” The account tweeted on Monday.
Several Twitter users also highlighted Biden’s comments, many of which were critical of them, while some commenting on the GOP War Room YouTube video questioned the president’s competence.
Biden spoke about the importance of the ADA and how people with disabilities were treated before the law went into effect in 1990. It was signed by then President George HW Bush, a Republican. Among other things, the law protects people with disabilities from discrimination and prescribes accessibility requirements in public accommodation.
“But many of us can still remember an America where a person with a disability was and could be denied service in restaurants and grocery stores; where a person using a wheelchair cannot take the train or bus to work or drive to work, school; where an employer might refuse to hire you because of a disability. An America not made for all Americans, “Biden said.
“Then we passed the ADA and committed to building a nation for all of us. For all of us. And we brought America closer to fulfilling that promise of freedom and justice, and perhaps most importantly, dignity and equality for all.” President said.
Newsweek has asked the White House for a comment.
United States President Joe Biden presents artist Tyree Brown with a pen after signing a proclamation on the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the Rose Garden of the White House on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden’s statements asking Brown if her mother was around have gone viral.
Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images