This article appeared online at on Monday, August 12, 2019:

’s gaffes, malapropisms, or “verbal indiscretions” would be funny if he weren’t serious. But at age 76 (he’ll turn 78 just weeks after the November 2020 presidential election), and increasingly likely to be the Party’s pick to face President Donald Trump, they’re not funny.

Speaking on Thursday to the Asian & Latin Coalition PAC in Des Moines, Biden fumbled the ball: “What we should do is, we should challenge these students in these schools. They have advanced placement programs for these schools. We have this notion that somehow, if you’re poor you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.”

The intake of air from gasps from the audience was audible. Biden equated wealthy with white. He quickly corrected his gaffe, but the damage was done. There are more than half a dozen clips of the gaffe on YouTube, viewed by almost a million people.

On Saturday, continuing the roll, Biden referred to the Parkland shooting, which took place in February 2018, telling his audience, “Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president.” Except that Biden had left office a year earlier.

These verbal missteps aren’t unique. After the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and in Dayton, Ohio, Biden referred to the “tragic events in Houston” and also “Michigan.”

So far supporters are forgiving him and covering up for him. “Real Time” host Bill Maher told his audience Friday night that Biden didn’t really intend those gaffes: “You know he doesn’t mean it. There’s going to be some senior moments with Joe Biden.” To the partisan crowd, Maher asked, “Don’t we just have to get used to that?”

He added: “I really don’t think there’s a realistic link [to Biden’s fading mental capacity] there. I don’t think he’s about to push the [nuclear strike] button or he thinks he’s moving the [TV] remote and he blows up Russia. I don’t. I’m just saying that we need to get used to the that if he’s the nominee, that there’s going to be some senior moments and can’t lose our [expletive] every time there is one.”

According to Real Clear Politics, Biden continues to lead the field of Democrats vying for the party’s nomination by double digits, both nationally and in Iowa.

His gaffes are fodder for the president, who has expressed his hope that Biden is his challenger next year. Trump told reporters on Friday at the White House, “ is not playing with a full deck. This is not somebody you can have as your president. But if he got the nomination, I’d be thrilled.” On Saturday Trump doubled up, tweeting, “Does anybody really believe he [Biden] is mentally fit to be president? We are ‘playing’ in a very big and complicated world. Joe doesn’t have a clue!”

Unless the former vice president completely loses it over the next few months, he’ll likely be remembered by political historians as nothing more than Trump’s sparring partner in the debates leading up to the 2020 presidential election.

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