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Tags: biden | lloyd austin | name | forget | military

Biden Appears to Blank on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's Name

Biden Appears to Blank on Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's Name
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on International Women’s Day during an announcement at the East Room of the White House March 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 09 March 2021 01:24 PM EST

President Joe Biden appeared to struggle when trying to recall the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a White House event, calling him “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”

Biden, while announcing the promotion of two female military officers to four-star generals on Monday, said at one point, “And I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there,” according to The New York Post.

“I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we just talked about. And for recommending these two women for promotion.”

The president had referred to the Pentagon chief by name earlier that day, though he was apparently reading from a teleprompter at that time.

If confirmed, Air Force Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost and Army Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson would be the second and third women to lead a U.S. Combatant Command. Their promotions were reportedly delayed during former President Donald Trump’s term due to concerns about how he would react.

“Each of these women have led careers demonstrating incomparable skill, integrity, and duty to country," Biden said when announcing the promotions. "And at every step, they've also helped push open the doors of opportunity to women in our military, blazing the trail a little wider, a little brighter for all proud women following in their path.”

He went on to note that Van Ovost, the daughter of Dutch immigrants, flew Air Force Two when he was vice president, and that Richardson oversaw the “More than 4,500 military medical personnel deployed in hospitals across 14 states and the Navajo Nation to treat COVID-19 patients.”

The commander-in-chief also took a moment to denounce sexual harassment and assault in the military, which he said is a “threat to our national security” and “abhorrent and wrong at any time.”

“We have to take on sexual assault harassment and violence against women in the military,” Biden said. “Sexual assault is abhorrent and wrong at any time. And our military, so much of unit cohesion is built on trusting your fellow service members to have your back. There's nothing less than a threat to our national security.”

He added: “This is going to be an all hands on deck effort, under my administration, to end the scourge of sexual assault in the military. And we're going to be focused on that from the very top.”

Secretary Austin said of the promotions: “Today you are nominating for combatant command two extraordinary military leaders whose lived experience encompasses nearly 70 years of uniformed service in peace and in war.

“You know that the diversity of our nation makes us stronger and diversity in our military ranks makes us better at defending the American people.”

Vice President Kamala Harris added: “While it has only been five years since all combat jobs have opened to women, women have been in the line of fire risking their lives to protect our nation long before that.”

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Politics
President Joe Biden appeared to struggle when trying to recall the name of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin during a White House event, calling him "the guy who runs that outfit over there." Biden, while announcing the promotion...
biden, lloyd austin, name, forget, military
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2021-24-09
Tuesday, 09 March 2021 01:24 PM
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