Falling Apart: Joe Biden Delivers 9 Gaffes, Lies, and Awkward Moments in Third Primary Debate

Collage of Joe Biden's facial expressions at the Democratic presidential primary debate in
Win McNamee/Getty; Robyn Beck, Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty

Former Vice President Joe Biden added nine embarrassing moments to his ever-expanding list of campaign gaffes and blunders during the third Democrat primary debate in Houston, Texas, Thursday evening.

Below is a list of moments where the 76-year-old Biden misspoke, went off on bizarre tangents, or seemingly lost control of his body.

1.) Biden referred to himself as a “Congressman” — but never served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Biden had this small brain freeze during a long-winded explanation of his position on criminal justice.

“I’ve been involved from the beginning, as a young congressman — councilman, I introduced legislation to try to keep them from putting a sewer plan in a poor neighborhood,” he told the debate moderators. Biden, prior to serving as vice president between 2009 and 2017, spent his entire career in the U.S. Senate. Though the upper chamber is considered to be a part of Congress, it’s uncommon for a senator to be referred to as a congressman.

2.) Biden wrongly referred to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as “president.”

The former vice president made the remark as he attacked Sanders over his far-left Medicare for All proposal.

“If you notice, nobody’s yet said how much it’s going to cost the taxpayer. I hear this, large savings, the president,” he said of the senator, before correcting himself. “My friend from Vermont thinks that the employer is going to give back if you negotiate as a union all these years, got a cut in wages because you got insurance.”

3.) Biden makes a dated reference to “record players” during a rambling answer on education.
“Play the radio, make sure the television,  excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. Make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school, a very poor background will hear four million words fewer spoken by the time we get there,” Biden attempted to explain.

His proposal for eliminating disparities between rich and poor students received mockery from members of the establishment media. New Yorker writer Emily Nussbaum tweeted: “I truly don’t understand wtf Biden is talking about. ‘Make sure you have the record player on at night’? This is messed up. And also, not an answer to the question.” President Donald Trump even mocked Biden for the bizarre reference, posting a GIF of the former vice president’s head spinning on a vinyl record on his personal Facebook page.

4.) Biden appeared to struggle to contain his teeth in his mouth.

The peculiar moment occurred during an exchange between moderator David Muir and the White House frontrunner on the Senate failing to pass legislation aimed at expanding background checks following the Sandy Hook massacre.

“Because I got it done before,” Biden began, as he seemingly attempted to adjust his teeth with his mouth. Some viewers have suggested the strange moment was a mishap with chewing gum, but the campaign has yet to issue a denial that Biden was having trouble with dentures.

“I’m the only one up here who has ever beat the NRA,”  he went on after his teeth appeared to be put back in place. “I’m the only one to ever beat the NRA nationally. I’m the guy who brought the Brady Bill into focus and became law.”

This failure of the flesh comes days after Biden’s eye appeared to fill with blood during CNN’s climate change town hall event. In its coverage recapping Thursday’s debate, far-left Splinter quipped that the former vice president’s eye appeared to have not fully recovered: “Biden’s eye was still looking awfully bloody. This guy needs Medicare for All, for himself, ASAP.”

5.) “Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime.”

“Nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime,” Biden argued as he recalled how thousands of federal inmates were released during the Obama administration.

“When we were in the White House, we released 36,000 people from the federal prison system,” he added. “Nobody should be in jail for a drug problem.”

As Breitbart News reporter John Binder explains: “Such a plan, which Biden seemingly endorsed, would set free from prison the roughly 450,000 to 500,000 ‘non-violent’ criminals who were arrested for various drug offenses and sit in local, state, and federal prisons on any given day.”

Many viewers were quick to note that Biden’s newfound leniency on crime would also apply to white-collar convicts like Bernie Madoff and Paul Manafort, the FBI’s consolation scalp from the Russia collusion hoax.

6.) Biden gets oddly specific about taking guns out of “basements.”

While not going quite as extreme as former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX), Biden suggested the federal government should buy back “assault weapons.” His answer took a turn, however, when he said of those guns, “get them out of the basements.”

He did not explain what threat such firearms pose while they remain stored in basements.

7.) Biden got lost in time, saying “I’m the vice president,” while 8.) falsely claiming the Obama administration never placed migrants in “cages” at detention facilities.

The former vice president’s double gaffe occurred during an exchange with Univision’s Jorge Ramos when pressed on the Obama administration’s record on deporting and detaining migrants.

“What Latinos should look at, comparing this president to the president we have is outrageous, number one. We didn’t lock people up in cages,” Biden told the moderator, before falsely claiming, “we didn’t separate families.” Obama’s Department of Homeland Security separated children at the border from their parents and detained them in areas sectioned off by metal fences.

Asked by Ramos if the administration “made a mistake with those deportations,” the 2020 frontrunner declined to answer and instead launched into a defense of Obama.

“The president did the best thing that was able to be done,” Biden stated. Pressed on whether he had any regrets on how the Obama White House handled immigration policy, Biden bizarrely declared, “I’m the vice president of the United States.”  This was not the first instance in which Biden mistakenly referred to himself as the sitting vice president. In August, he claimed he was in office during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

9.) Biden pivots to — Venezuela? — when asked about reparations.

When pressed on institutional segregation and whether the U.S. needs to boost spending on education, Biden began:

We bring social workers into homes of parents to help them deal with how to raise their children. It’s not that they don’t want to help, they don’t know quite what to do… play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night, the — make sure that kids hear words, a kid coming from a very poor school — a very poor background will hear 4 million words fewer spoken by the time we get there.

When the debate moderator attempted to cut him off, Biden continued to ramble on:

No, I’m going to go like the rest of them do, twice over. Because here’s the deal. The deal is that we’ve got this a little backwards. And by the way, in Venezuela, we should be allowing people to come here from Venezuela. I know Maduro. I’ve confronted Maduro. Number two: You talk about the need to do something in Latin America. I’m the guy that came up with $740m, to see to it those three countries, in fact, changed their system so people don’t have the chance to leave. You’re acting like we just discovered this yesterday. [emphasis added]

Bonus: Early to bed!

After all these cringey moments, Biden dared not risk another. He did not appear in the “spin room” after the event, an area where candidates and their surrogates speak to reporters about their debate performances. Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak notes this is the former veep’s third consecutive time skipping the post-debate scrum, “making him the only candidate never to have made a spin room appearance in the 2020 election cycle.”


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