Stunning Biden Gaffe: 'Last Night I Was on the Television, on Television, I Was on … the … Telephone'


In the seventh year of his presidency, Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, one that would alter the trajectory of world history.

“We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness. Some political prisoners have been released. Certain foreign news broadcasts are no longer being jammed. Some economic enterprises have been permitted to operate with greater freedom from state control,” Reagan said, referring to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost policy.

“There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace,” Reagan said.

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

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At the time, those in the media openly opined whether the man who gave that speech was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, dementia or some other progressive cognitive decline.

Thirty-four years later, our national media are less concerned about the mental bandwidth possessed by this man:

Is Joe Biden in cognitive decline?

“You know, if I can digress for just a second,” President Joe Biden told a crowd in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, on Thursday. “Last night I was on the television, on television. I was on … the … telephone with a person at an emergency hospital ward in Pennsylvania.”

You know, I get those two mixed up all the time. Context, you’ll hardly be surprised to note, doesn’t much improve it. The visit was to push the importance of vaccinations and, of course, Biden couldn’t resist telling a story about an emergency room overwhelmed in Philadelphia.

This wasn’t his only gaffe during the speech. Here he was during the introductions, which didn’t go as well as he might have liked:

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So, isolated incidents? Those clips were from Oct. 7.

Just to prove this isn’t cherry-picking, I’d like to take a brief look at our president’s catalog of senior moments from just the past month.

On Tuesday, Biden was addressing a crowd in Michigan, including Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. In his introductions, Biden said Gilchrist “covers (Whitmer) in every way, both in terms of physically, and mentally, and every other way.”

As a lagniappe, there also was this from the same speech, whatever it was:

Here he is in September, telling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he was vice president in 2020:

Here’s Biden referring to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “that fellow down under.”

Earlier in September, Biden shared an anecdote regarding how his first job was from Idaho-based lumber company Boise Cascade. For their part, folks at Boise Cascade insisted they had no record of this, and it contradicted well-known details from Biden’s early life that had been laid out in his memoir.

And here’s our president saying that “by 2020,” he would “make sure all our electricity is zero emissions” — providing another way that 2020 could disappoint us, this time retroactively:

The 2020 “zero emissions” quote was from Sept. 7; talking to the nurse on the television was Oct. 7.

You could chuckle at how neatly the bookends fit if what was sandwiched between them didn’t provide ample evidence that the most powerful man in the world comes across like someone who otherwise could be occupied for the rest of his term if only White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain asked him to find all the corners in the Oval Office.

But remember, the “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” guy was the senile one. He’s the one who laid the groundwork for the end of the Cold War and guided us out of the malaise of the Carter years, reinventing and reinvigorating the conservative movement, but he was the one in cognitive decline.

Why, just ask Joe Biden. He heard it from Reagan himself during one of their television calls.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture