Former Vice President Joe Biden’s final statement during Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate yielded his biggest gaffe of the night, majorly flubbing the contact information for a campaign-run text message service.
Biden stumbled over his words throughout the debate, hosted by CNN, but even without the high pressure of answering questions from moderators and competitors, the 76-year-old frontrunner made the moment go viral for all the wrong reasons.
“We’re in a battle for the soul of America,” he began. “This most consequential election anyone of you, no matter how old or young you are, has ever participated in. Four more years of Donald Trump will go down as an aberration. Hard to overcome the damage he’s done, but we can overcome it.”
To stress the point further, Biden gaffed by saying that America could not handle another “eight years” of the Trump in the White House.
“Eight more years of Donald Trump will change American in a fundamental way,” Biden said. “The America we know will no longer exist.”
The former vice president than proceeded to argue that when Americans were united there was nothing they could not overcome, before delivering another gaffe.
“If you agree with me,” he said. “Go to Joe 3-0-3-3-0, thank you very much.”
Biden likely meant to describe a way in which supporters could reach out and contact his campaign. His statement followed a string of other candidates who directed supporters to various campaign websites. In contrast, Biden did not specify whether the purported destination was a website or a phone number.
What Biden was trying to say pic.twitter.com/6lm7fp3ja9
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) August 1, 2019
The mistake, however, was quickly panned on social media.
Joe Biden either thinks he's going to be alive in 30330 or he has no idea what his own website is… pic.twitter.com/WqrZhquYmY
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 1, 2019
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) August 1, 2019
Wtf is 30330? Did Biden just give up his debit card code? #DemDebate2
— Omar Baddar (@OmarBaddar) August 1, 2019
Even President Donald Trump’s son, Eric, got in on the fun.
Poor Joe… “go to Joe3-03-0330003”
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) August 1, 2019
As is often the case with unclaimed web domains, an obscure political operation — “Josh for America” — quickly took control of “joe30330.com” and made the URL redirect to its own site. A message at the bottom of the page reads: “Hey! If Joe Biden sent you here, we just want to make something clear: we’re not affiliated with any presidential campaign. We’re just having some good fun (maybe a little bit at the expense of Joe) :).”
That takes me to Josh for America pic.twitter.com/HegSzkSq92
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) August 1, 2019
Biden’s campaign did eventually take to social media to clarify what it was the former vice president wanted to say.
“I just got off the stage where I shared my bold vision for our future built on uniting our country. Because I know if we work together, there’s nothing we can’t do, the campaign tweeted. “Let’s keep our momentum going. If you liked what you heard tonight, text JOE to 30330 and let’s get to work.”
I just got off the stage where I shared my bold vision for our future built on uniting our country. Because I know if we work together, there’s nothing we can’t do.
Let's keep our momentum going. If you liked what you heard tonight, text JOE to 30330 and let's get to work. pic.twitter.com/EDIKTYiJB1
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 1, 2019
This is not the first time that Biden has made gaffes while discussing technology. Last month, the former vice president mistakenly referred to 5G wireless technology as G5 — the model of a private jet — when claiming the United States was in danger of losing to China in research and development.
“When the president is tweeting, they’re not sitting still, they’re going out and getting G5 and going to dominate,” Biden said. “What are we doing? What are we doing?”