President Joe Biden committed another verbal gaffe before quickly correcting himself during a Thursday news conference.
Biden, speaking with reporters at the NATO summit in Madrid, mistakenly said neutral Switzerland was joining NATO. The president had intended to refer to Sweden.
After saying he and Finland's "leader" had discussed the Nordic country joining NATO, "we got on the telephone and called the leader of Switzerland."
"Switzerland," Biden repeated. "My goodness. I’m getting really anxious about expanding NATO — of Sweden."
The 79-year-old Biden's public performances, always under the microscope as president, have received increased attention because he's the oldest person to assume the job.
On Thursday, the president called on four reporters whose names were on a prepared list.
Biden last week displayed a card that showed step-by-step instructions for him during a White House meeting with wind industry leaders.
Biden held up a card showing instructions that began with "You enter the Roosevelt Room and say hello to participants," and ended with "You depart."
During a speech in South Korea late last month, Biden bungled the name of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, though he quickly corrected himself.
"Thank you all very much. And President Moon — Yoon, thank you for everything you've done so far," Biden said, perhaps in reference to former Korean President Moon Jae-in, whose five-year term ended earlier in May.
In late April, Biden confused listeners by saying the U.S. would "accommodate" Russian oligarchs.
"I'm also sending to Congress a comprehensive package that will enhance our underlying effort to accommodate the Russian oligarchs and make sure we take their ill-begotten gains," Biden said during a press conference at the White House.
"Ha. We're going to 'accommodate' them. We are going to seize their yachts, their luxury homes and other ill-begotten gains."
Verbal gaffes aren’t the only things that draw attention to Biden’s age. Earlier this month, the president fell off his bike during a ride with Secret Service near his Rehoboth Beach home in Delaware. Several times, he has stumbled while walking up the stairs to Air Force One.
One columnist for The Atlantic recently wrote that Biden will be too old to run for reelection.
"He will be 82 if and when he begins a second term. The numbers just keep getting more ridiculous from there," Mark Leibovich wrote in The Atlantic on June 16.
Democratic Party leaders have been weighing the consequences of Biden pursuing a second presidential term in 2024, despite his age, 40-year-inflation highs, sagging job-approval numbers, and the specter of the Republicans controlling the House and/or Senate chambers after the midterm elections in November.
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