President Biden attempted a joke about his memory during a speech in Washington, D.C., Monday, seemingly taking a jab at Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report.
Delivering remarks at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, Biden spoke about his bipartisan infrastructure law, which he credits for allowing his administration to continue “making the biggest investment in climate change ever anywhere in the entire world.”
“After devastating floods, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricane, we’re going to keep working together to respond, to rebuild and boost resilience to extreme weather. My administration is also helping install rooftop solar to build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations for revitalizing fenceline communities smothered by the legacy of pollution like where I lived in Claymont,” Biden said, referring to where his family moved in Delaware during the early 1950s.
“We’re promoting clean energy in industries of the future made here in America. Made in America,” he said while transitioning.
“What I didn’t realize, and I’ve been around, I know it don’t look like it, but I’ve been around a while. I do remember that,” Biden said, garnering laughter and applause.
The joke was somewhat undercut by Biden concluding the speech – and then adding an interjection at the end, admitting, “I forgot something,” before making a final comment.
In building his argument for why no charges were recommended following an investigation into Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, Hur, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, detailed in part that Biden’s defense of any potential charges could possibly be that, “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
The report cited examples when investigators said the president’s memory lapsed, including over when his older son Beau had died.
Biden’s age and mental fitness have already been a concern for voters.
During his speech, Biden also criticized his 2024 rival, former President Trump, and Republicans for opposing a $118 billion supplemental spending agreement that included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, as well as an ambitious border security and immigration package. The border package drew widespread opposition from conservative Republicans in both chambers since its release just days earlier. The Senate voted against the supplemental 50-49 Wednesday. It needed 60 votes to pass.
The vote went mostly along party lines, except for five Democrats voting no and four Republicans voting yes.
“Some of my extreme Republican friends – and by the way, this is not your father’s Republican Party … I’m not taking on all Republicans. I really mean it. The MAGA Republicans, a minority, but a powerful minority. They went out and they killed the deal. My predecessor said he didn’t like it. It was a loss for him. We have to end the political games, folks,” Biden said Monday.
The president also claimed a victory for the economy.
“It’s clear we have the strongest economy in the world. Nearly 15 million new jobs since I came to office,” Biden said. “The longest stretch of under 4% in 50 years. Growth is strong. Rising wages are rising, inflation is down. In fact, the costs have fallen from everything from a gallon of gas to a gallon of milk. We know prices are still too high because of what I call greed-inflation and shrinkflation,” he said, referring to companies charging the same amount for a product while reducing quantity. “I’m calling on corporations to pass their savings on to consumers, for God’s sake. We’re making real progress.”
“The recent Washington Post headline summed it up,” Biden added, quoting the newspaper’s story titled, “Falling Inflation and Rising Growth Give the U.S. the World’s Best Recovery.”
“The world’s best recovery!” Biden said. “It’s because you implemented what we did. You made it work.”