US President Joe Biden. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

International news

U.S. President Joe Biden’s repeated verbal missteps and blunders have drawn scrutiny, prompting questions about his fitness to lead the world's most heavily armed nation.

A recent example took place on June 28, 2023. In a statement made before departing the White House for a trip to Chicago, Biden claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin was "losing the war in Iraq," when he meant to refer to Ukraine.

This mistake was immediately picked up by the media, becoming the second major slip-up within 24 hours. During a campaign fundraising event the previous night, Biden referred to India as China, despite having met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi just a week prior.

Such instances are not uncommon for Biden, whose public speeches have seen a fair share of mishaps. From falling at a podium during the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony in June to mistakenly referring to Vice President Kamala Harris as "President" multiple times, Biden's blunders have frequently made headlines and provided fodder for social media and late-night talk shows.

Earlier this month, Biden closed out a speech to gun control advocates by exclaiming, “God save the Queen, man,” confusing members of the White House press corps and the audience who wondered what, exactly, the president meant.

These slip-ups have given rise to concerns about Biden's fitness to serve as President, a position that demands accuracy, mental agility, and a sharp memory. According to an April 2023 Reuters/Ipsos poll, 73% of respondents considered Biden too old to work in government, a sentiment echoed by 63% of Democrats.

Several commentators find it remarkable that in a nation with over 350 million inhabitants, the frontrunners for leadership are Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Both are men of advanced age, within the pensioner bracket, whose competencies and decision-making rationales have often been brought into question.