In a public announcement about united Western support for Ukraine, Joe Biden just mispronounced Rishi Sunak’s name.
He made the unfortunate mistake while declaring the US decision to send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, shortly after Germany confirmed it would also provide the highly sought-after Leopard 2 tanks.
Biden said, “The United States and Europe are fully united.
“This morning I had a long conversation with our Nato allies – Mr Scholz, French president Macron, and prime minister Sanuk [instead of Sunak] and the Italian prime minister, uh, Meloni, to continue our close coordination and fully support of Ukraine.”
And, to his credit, the blunder did not disrupt the flow of his speech.
He quickly moved on to the idea that Russia wants Western alliances to weaken over their support for Ukraine, and emphasized the importance of presenting a united front in the ongoing war.
The full speech, as uploaded by The Telegraph, can be viewed here (at 1:10). The president does have an unfortunate history of tripping himself up during speeches, which he has previously acknowledged, having openly discussed his childhood stutter.
In October, Biden called Sunak to congratulate him on his election as Tory Party leader (and later as Prime Minister), particularly as the first UK prime minister of Asian descent, but he added a “d” to his first name.
Sunak isn’t the only name Biden has gotten wrong. Biden has previously referred to French President Emmanuel Macron as ‘President Macrone,’ and his own Vice President Kamala Harris as both the “first lady” (the term reserved for the president’s wife) and the “president” (his own title).
And, on the second anniversary of the US Capitol riots, on January 6, Biden accidentally said “July the 6th” instead, while awarding presidential citizens medals.
Back in May 2022 though, Biden did defend himself, noting, “By the way, sometimes – the press is always fair with me, but once – every once in a while I make a mistake, not like, well, once a speech.”
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