‘Topline Message’: Trump Campaign Accuses Joe Biden of Reading Script Notes Aloud from Teleprompter

Grassroots Fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff - Wilmington, DE - August 21, 2020
Adam Schultz/Biden for President

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing scrutiny for an odd moment during a one-on-one interview with a South Florida news station, with the Trump campaign accusing him of reading a line from his teleprompter that was only meant as an instructional note.

Biden discussed Latin American politics with NBC 6 anchor Jackie Nespral in an interview which will air on Sunday. The station offered a preview of the one-on-one interview this week, which featured Biden driving home the “topline message,” quite literally.

“Would you go back to the Obama policy with Cuba and what is your plan dealing with Venezuela?” Nespral asked the presidential candidate.

Biden appeared flustered from the start.

“Number one. This president reversed the –” Biden began before starting over. “I’d try to reverse the failed Trump policies that have inflicted harm on Cubans and their families. He’s done nothing to advance democracy and human rights.”

Later in the interview, Biden shifted to Venezuela, where he mistakenly read the words “topline message” before describing President Trump’s existing policy as an “abject failure.”

“I understand that Cuba along with Russia and China has contributed to the political impasse in Venezuela as well. What’s the president doing? Look, Venezuela topline message is President Trump’s policy is an abject failure,” Biden said:

“Since he took office, Maduro has gotten stronger. [The] Venezuelan people are worse off living in one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world and the country’s no closer to a free election,” he continued, claiming that Trump’s “incoherent” approach has “undermined the cause of democracy.”

This is far from the first time Biden has suffered a “brain freeze” during an interview or speech. Biden delivered a speech in Pittsburgh, PA, Monday during a rare day on the campaign trail and appeared to have trouble reading off the teleprompter.

“COVID has taken this year, just sinthe outbreak, has taken more than 100 year—look, here’s, the lives, it’s just, it’s, er, I mean, y’think about it. More lives this year than any other year for the past hundred years,” he said during the speech.

Prepared remarks reveal that Biden was supposed to say, “COVID has taken more lives this year than any outbreak in more than 100 years. More than 180,000 lives in just six months. An average of 1,000 people dying every day in the month of August”:

During a speech in Houston, Texas, ahead of Super Tuesday, Biden delivered another memorable gaffe, majorly bungling one of the most famous lines from the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created by the go, you know, you know the thing,” he said:

The former vice president has continued to dismiss concerns over his mental fitness, urging the president and voters to “watch” him.


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