A video clip of President Biden on Wednesday appearing to claim in a speech that he has cancer dropped like a bombshell on Twitter, forcing the White House press office to quickly clarify that he was referring to skin cancer treatment that he had undergone before taking office in January last year.
Cancer? This is either the biggest bombshell in presidential history or the biggest gaffe. https://t.co/oFu1hH2gzK
— Tom Bevan (@TomBevanRCP) July 20, 2022
Biden was visiting a former coal power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts, to discuss new executive orders to fight climate change.
While discussing the harm caused by emissions from oil refineries, Biden referred to his childhood home in Delaware
“That’s why I and so damn many other people I grew up with have cancer and why for the longest time Delaware had the highest cancer rate in the nation,” Biden said.
It’s unclear why Biden chose to use the present verb tense to describe his experience with cancer, according to a New York Post report.
“He said ‘I have cancer’ in the present tense you absolute dips–t,” Greg Price of XStrategies LLC tweeted in response to Kessler.
Biden, 79, is the oldest-ever US president and his mental acuity is frequently a matter of public debate.
He says, however, that he intends to seek a second term barring ill health in 2024 and his defenders note that he’s struggled for years with gaffes or inaccurate remarks.
According to Fox News, Biden often makes gaffes while attempting to demonstrate a personal connection to his audiences. In January, Biden told students of historically black colleges in Atlanta that he was arrested during civil rights protests — for which there also is no evidence.
In May, Biden said at the Naval Academy’s graduation ceremony that he was appointed to the military school in 1965 by the late Sen. J. Caleb Boggs (R-Del.). A search of Boggs’ archives failed to turn up evidence of the appointment.
In September, for example, he told Jewish leaders that he remembered “spending time at” and “going to” the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh after the mass murder of 11 people in 2018. The synagogue said he never visited and the White House later said he was thinking about a 2019 phone call to the synagogue’s rabbi.