White House Alters Transcript After Biden's Embarrassing Overseas Gaffe
Another day, another embarrassing Joe Biden gaffe on the world stage.
In his muddled state, the president not only managed to appear clueless but also brought up a painful historical reference for Ireland, the country Biden is visiting this week.
While there is nothing unusual about Biden beclowning himself, it was somewhat surprising to discover the official White House transcript of the remarks made an awkward effort to editorialize a correction into the text.
On Wednesday, Biden spoke at the Windsor Bar and Restaurant in Dundalk, County Louth. For the most part, it was a typical politician’s speech, heavy with glad-handing anecdotes about the president’s proud Irish heritage.
It did feature the usual cringe-inducing Bidenisms: creepy whispering, strange attempts at self-deprecating humor and chummy call-outs to folks in the audience.
But it was while concluding his talk that the president committed his most serious error.
As reported by Fox News, Biden was acknowledging Irish rugby player Rob Kearney, a distant cousin of his who attended the speech.
The president tried to recall a rugby international event held Nov. 5, 2016, at Soldier Field in Chicago. In that game, the Irish Embassy notes, Ireland beat the New Zealand All Blacks for the first time in 111 years and 28 matches.
New Zealand’s rugby team is called the All Blacks in reference to its uniforms.
In his ongoing confusion, Biden misstated the rugby team’s name, saying “Black and Tans” instead of All Blacks.
“You see this tie I have with this shamrock on it?” he said. “This was given to me by one of these guys right here. He was a hell of a rugby player, and he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”
There is a huge difference between those descriptions in Ireland. The phrase “Black and Tans” evokes a bitter memory.
As Politico reported, “The Black and Tans were an auxiliary unit of Britain’s security forces that fought IRA rebels in their 1919-21 war of independence from Britain.”
CNN referred to the Black and Tan officers added to the Royal Irish Constabulary during the conflict as “a brutal police force.”
It was said the Black and Tans got their title from their uniforms as well — in their case, improvised and pieced-together gear.
Many mocked the president’s gaffe on Twitter.
Rob Kearney moments before he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans, Soldier Field, 1920 – colourised. https://t.co/3zor9VqbrI pic.twitter.com/qrq11HeBXd
— Féach News (@_FeachNews) April 12, 2023
Rob Kearney, celebrating after sorting out a handful of black and tans.. #BidenVisit pic.twitter.com/z9qksj2G9n
— Francis Sinnott (@CaptainAutumn) April 12, 2023
That memorable day at Soldier Field in Chicago where the Irish rugby team beat “the hell out of the Black and Tans” #JoeBiden pic.twitter.com/r132ETD24E
— Paul Cashin (@PaulCashin_) April 12, 2023
This is not the kind of screw-up anyone wants to happen overseas.
Biden is bad enough domestically, but such a disconnect on display by the commander in chief in a foreign country undermines America’s image of competence and strength.
What appeared on the official transcript of the speech from the White House made the bad situation look even worse.
Instead of factually documenting Biden’s quote, a clumsy correction was attempted.
The words “Black and Tans” appeared crossed out, with “All Blacks” added in brackets afterward. There is no explanation in the transcript of why the correction was needed or who approved fudging the record.
There was a time Americans demanded high standards from the president of the United States. There was also a time we held politicians accountable for attempts to manipulate the public trust.
We need to bring the attitude of those times back now to deal with Biden’s malarkey.
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