Joe Biden on Tuesday night delivered a remarkably gaffe-filled speech in Florida: mixing up representative and senator, claiming the United States has among the lowest inflation in the world and saying his son Beau died in Iraq.
The president was campaigning in three different locations across the state and intended to trumpet his triumphs.
Instead, he baffled listeners with a bizarre series of claims.
Speaking alongside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is hoping to get re-elected in Florida’s 23rd district, in greater Miami, Biden mistakenly referred to her as a senator.
‘I don’t have a greater friend in the United States Senate,’ he said.
‘And I didn’t have a greater friend as vice president, nor as president.
‘So Debbie, thank you, kiddo.’
Debbie Wasserman Schultz introduces Joe Biden in Florida on Tuesday. Biden mistakenly said she was in the Senate, when in fact she serves in the House
Biden is seen on stage, referring to Wasserman Schultz as his best friend ‘in the senate’
In Hallandale Beach, a Miami suburb 20 miles north of downtown, he claimed that the United States has low inflation – and managed to say once again that his son Beau died in Iraq.
Beau Biden, who served as Delaware‘s attorney general and in the Delaware Army National Guard in the Iraq War, died at age 46 in 2015 from brain cancer.
He passed away at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The president has long linked his service, and the military’s use of burn pits, to Beau’s brain cancer diagnosis.
‘In my view, I can’t prove it yet, he came back with stage 4 glioblastoma. Eighteen months he lived, knowing he was going to die,’ Biden said in 2019.
Biden previously said that Beau died in Iraq while speaking at Camp Hale in Colorado last month.
President Joe Biden again said that his son Beau Biden died in Iraq, while catching himself calling the war in Ukraine the Iraq war, while delivering remarks in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday
Beau Biden (left) died of brain cancer in 2015 after serving in Iraq. He’s photographed with then Vice President Joe Biden (right) in 2009 at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad
‘Inflation is a worldwide problem right now because of a war in Iraq and the impact on oil, and what Russia is doing — I mean, excuse me, the war in Ukraine,’ said Biden on Tuesday.
‘And — I’m thinking of Iraq because that’s where my son died. The — because he died.
‘But the point is that there — you know, that’s why it’s up.
‘We have the lowest inflation rate of almost any major country in the world. We’ve done a lot to try to take it under control.’
Inflation in the U.S. as measured by the Consumer Price Index is currently at 8.2 percent, for September’s data.
Among G7 countries, only Italy and the United Kingdom have worse inflation according to the OECD’s latest data, from August.
The U.S. is at 8.26 percent, with Italy at 8.37 and the U.K. at 8.6 percent.
Japan, France, Canada, and Germany are all out-performing the U.S. – in Canada, inflation was 7.1 percent, while in France it was 5.91, and in Japan a mere 3 percent.
He added, in a particularly convoluted segment: ‘And I’ll end this — talk about inflation.
‘If you want to raise the cost of living on seniors, go ahead and give free rein to drug companies. Look at what these drug companies have done.
‘Republicans in Congress are cheering them on.
‘Go ahead and reduce Social Security and Medicare, watch what happens to the cost of living for hardworking Floridians. That’s what I call inflation.
‘At the end of the month, what you have left, if you have no money, that’s inflation. What’s — what are you — the things you need, are they going up? They are. They are.’
Biden was also mocked online for his claim about insulin, and its pioneers. One of his signature achievements has been to reduce the cost of insulin for diabetics.
‘Okay, you know how much it cost to make that insulin drug for diabetes?’ Biden asked the crowd.
‘It was invented by a man who did not patent it because he wanted it available for everyone.
‘I spoke to him, okay? And guess what? It cost 10 bucks to make. Ten bucks to make.
‘And if you count packaging and everything, you can maybe get it up to $15.
‘Well, guess what? They’re not going to have to pay more than $35 a month. They’ll still make a significant profit instead of an average of $400 a month.’
Charles Best (left) and Frederick Banting (right) are pictured on the roof of the medical building at Toronto University with one of the first diabetic dogs to receive the hormone insulin
Charles Best is pictured in the reconstructed lab where he and Banting isolated insulin, in 1921. Best died in 1978
Canadian doctors Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated the hormone insulin in July 1921.
Banting died in 1941 – the year before Biden was born.
Best died in 1978, five years after Biden was elected to the Senate – making a meeting not impossible, but not confirmed.
Biden was in Florida to take on the Republicans with just one week to go before the midterm elections.
In his speech at a senior center, Biden blasted the GOP for wanting to cut social programs – it’s a topic of interest in a state with a large population of retirees.
‘I’ve come to Florida today to talk about two very, very, very important programs,’ he said. ‘it’s gonna affect as many Americans as anything else.’
He described Social Security and Medicare as ‘under siege by our Republican friends.’
Biden finished his speech by saying he hoped that God ‘gives some of our Republican friends some enlightenment.’
He argued people should have ‘peace of mind’ when they retire. And he noted how Medicare can now negotiate prescription drug prices.
‘Here in Florida, 21% of the people are over the age of 65. It’s the second highest of any state in the country,’ he noted.
President Joe Biden blasted Republicans for wanting to cut social programs as he kicked off the final week of campaigning
Biden read from a pamphlet by Republican Senator Rick Scott
He also pointed out under his administration that for, the ‘first time can you see again an increase in their Social Security and Medicare’ – an announcement met with great applause.
‘So checks are going to be up. Medicare premiums are going to be down and look it’s a big deal for seniors,’ he said.
‘Let me say something. I want to point something out. They talk about big spending Democrats. Yeah, I spent a lot of money to do these things, but guess why,’ he said.
‘We cut the deficit in half,’ he said, lowering his voice to a whisper to make his point.
The president appeared visibly frustrated with the argument Republicans are making against his stewardship of the economy.
Voters have said the economy and inflation are their top concerns – and they give Biden low marks on his handling of both issues.
‘Give me a break. I’m so sick and I shouldn’t get,’ Biden let his voice trail off as he paced on stage. But the crowd cheered and encouraged him on.
‘As my granddaughter’s used to say, Google, I’m serious,’ the president told the crowd.
Biden has been hitting Republicans repeatedly for wanting to change the two large government social programs.
The president repeatedly has made Florida Republican Senator Rick Scott’s policy proposals a boogeyman in the election, calling out the senator by name in his criticism of the GOP.
He did so again in Florida on Tuesday.
He held up a pamphlet and read aloud Scott’s plan that would put Medicare, Social Security and other government programs up for a vote every five years.
‘A senator from Florida going after Social Security and Medicaid?,’ he said.
‘You might even you might not even believe it. Again, word for word. All federal legislation, sunsets means goes away in five years.’
‘These programs do something so basic and so important,’ Biden said of them.
Biden started his remarks by talking about all the assistance his administration has offered the state as it recovers from Hurricane Ian.
He said the federal government approved $1.7 billion in federal grants, which led to whoops, applause and cheers from the audience.
Biden will be campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Senate hopeful Val Demings in the Sunshine State even as he avoids some of the bigger battleground contests like Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.
President Joe Biden kicks off the week before midterms with a visit to Florida on Tuesday. He was holding Jon Meacham’s book ‘And There Was Light – Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle’ as he boarded the flight
Meacham’s book looks at how Lincoln wanted to prioritize emancipation and democracy ahead of his own political future. Lincoln’s Republican party also performed badly in the midterms
He’ll appear in Donald Trump ‘s home state to blast ‘MAGA Republicans,’ who he claims want to cut social programs and increase taxes for the wealthy
Ahead of his trip, Biden boarded Air Force One with a copy of Jon Meacham’s new book ‘And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle’.
The biography looks into how Lincoln prioritized his policies and ending slavery over his own future before the 1864 election and during the Civil War.
Lincoln’s Republican party also performed poorly during the 1862 midterm elections, with the Democrats gaining several seats and ending their majority.
Polls suggest Biden could be facing a similar fate with the 2022 midterms with polls suggesting Republicans will decisively take control of the House and have a path to winning a majority in the Senate.
‘Lincoln was a politician, but he was a politician who ultimately was driven by conscience,’ Meacham told NPR.
‘This is my entire argument in the book. If he had solely been a cynical political creature, he would have made radically different decisions at critical points.’
Crist is trailing Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seeking a second term.
And Deming is down in the polls against GOP Senator Marco Rubio in a contest that will help decide which party controls the Senate next year.
The president, who is battling low approval ratings, is spending his last week on the campaign trail trying to contrast how his Democrats will govern versus Republicans as voters prepare to head to the polls on Nov. 8.
He will make his closing argument at stops in New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Maryland over the next seven days.