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Report finds that Biden's speaking errors have doubled in last year

Tue Jul 09 2024
MXM Exclusive

Quick Hit:

The White House's official transcripts reveal a troubling increase in President Joe Biden's speaking mistakes, with errors doubling over the past year.

Key Details:

  • Doubling of Errors: Analysis of official transcripts shows Biden's speaking errors have doubled in the past year, with 51 corrections made in May 2024 alone.
  • Debate Performance: Biden's increased errors were notably visible during his June debate, where his cognitive struggles were apparent.
  • Official Record: The transcripts, which cover nearly 400 events, highlight frequent numerical inaccuracies and confusion over basic facts.

Diving Deeper:

Over the last year, an analysis of the corrections made to President Joe Biden's speeches and remarks shows a concerning trend: his rate of speaking errors has not only increased but nearly doubled.

In May 2024, White House staff had to correct Biden’s speech errors a record 51 times. This rate was one of the worst noted during his presidency. Following these frequent slips, Biden notably reduced his public appearances, speaking half as much as usual until his widely discussed debate performance on June 27, which highlighted his struggles with coherence and accuracy on a global stage.

Starting from June 2023, where 33 errors were noted, the situation worsened by May 2024, with a significant jump to 7.2 errors per 10,000 words spoken. This spike occurred in a month where Biden spoke 70,000 words.

The errors cataloged are not minor slips but significant misstatements that distort factual information. For instance, Biden often confuses numbers by orders of magnitude—important numbers like the federal budget or tax cuts. His difficulty in distinguishing terms like the national debt from the deficit or confusing dates and names underscores a deeper issue of cognitive disarray. Notable corrections include:

  • “we cut the debt [deficit] by $1.7 trillion”
  • “on January the 8th [6th]”
  • “invest $200 million [billion]”
  • “440 [thousand] new jobs”

These corrections are not arbitrary but are indicative of Biden's reliance on teleprompters and scripted remarks, often leading to nonsensical statements when he deviates from or misreads the script.

Biden’s confusion extends beyond numbers to a distorted perception of time and geography, occasionally misidentifying key public figures and even mixing up historical timelines. 

This documented increase in errors and the visible struggle during the June debate may impact public and political confidence in his leadership, especially as discussions about his age and capability become increasingly unavoidable in the political arena. As the country heads towards another election cycle, these issues are likely to become focal points of national debate.


"Joe Biden" by Gage Skidmore licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED.

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