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Has Biden forgotten he’s the President? Another ‘Harris’ gaffe raises doubts

By Jake Beardslee · November 14, 2023

In brief…

  • President Biden referred to VP Kamala Harris as "President Harris" again during an event at the White House
  • Marks at least the 7th time Biden has mistakenly called Harris the president in public remarks
  • Harris has defended Biden against concerns over his age and cognitive ability
President Biden slipped up again by referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as "President Harris" during a White House event honoring a hockey team.  Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America/Wikimedia

On Monday, President Biden mistakenly called Vice President Kamala Harris “President Harris” while congratulating the Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team for winning the Stanley Cup at a White House ceremony.

“President Harris is here to make sure we do this the right way,” Biden said, in an apparent attempt at a joke, after taking the stage with members of the team. This marks at least the seventh time that Biden has mistakenly called the vice president the “president” during public remarks.

The 80-year-old president has previously referred to 59-year-old Harris as “President Harris” at events last year in South Carolina and Washington D.C. He also called her “a great president” while wishing her happy birthday in October 2022. In March of this year, Biden referred to Harris as the “first lady” when speaking to reporters.

Biden’s repeated references to Harris as president come as questions continue to swirl about his age and mental acuity. If elected to a second term, Biden would be 86 years old when he leaves office - making him the oldest president in American history.

Harris has frequently come to Biden’s defense against concerns over his age, including from fellow Democrats. Just last month, she told 60 Minutes that “Joe Biden is very much alive and running for re-election.”

Monday’s slip-up occurred as Biden honored the Las Vegas hockey team for their 2022 Stanley Cup victory. He joked around with team members and held up a ceremonial hockey stick gifted to him.

President Biden’s reference to Vice President Harris as “President Harris” prompted criticism from some conservative figures, who questioned whether it demonstrated lapses in Biden’s cognition or control, according to Fox News Digital. The White House did not release a statement explaining Biden’s remark.