In a moment replete with comedic potential, President Joe Biden gave us only partial fulfillment.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in San Francisco on Thursday, Biden spent more than ten seconds staring at his teleprompter, talking to himself and wondering if he should attempt to pronounce something one of his speechwriters had written.
Alas, in the end, he gave up. “I’m not gonna even try,” Biden said in a barely audible voice.
At that point, the APEC audience laughed, no doubt in part to relieve themselves from embarrassment.
In the tense moments before he finally abandoned the quest, Biden appeared poised to attempt the pronunciation.
“Leading j — leading tech companies … like Anthropic … and — I’m gonna mispronounce,” he said before giving up.
Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, RNC Research shared a 22-second clip of Biden’s valiant effort.
“Biden’s brain malfunctions in real time: ‘I’m gonna mispronounce. I’m not gonna even try,'” an accompanying post read.
Predictably, Scott Budman of NBC treated Biden as a serious person.
“President Biden to the APEC CEO Summit: ‘It’s never been a good bet to bet against America. Because of us, there’s been peace in the Pacific Region.’ Says he will mispronounce ‘Anthropic,’ (crowd laughs) but talks up AI growth here,” Budman posted Thursday.
Biden, of course did not say he would mispronounce “Anthropic.” In fact, he said that word very softly, as if unsure of it. Then, he opted against trying to pronounce whatever came after it on the teleprompter. It is unclear if Budman simply erred or if he acted from an ingrained habit of smoothing over the president’s manifest deficiencies.
Either way, Biden’s sinking poll numbers suggest that more people have finally noticed those deficiencies — or have stopped pretending otherwise.