Joe Biden Claims He Could Stay in Ireland, Detractors Say Good Riddance – It seems that almost everything President Joe Biden says or does is seized upon by Republicans who reply with snarky remarks on social media.
Biden’s four day trip to Ireland this week had its share of gaffes and misunderstandings that were fodder for critics, but the president generally acted properly, if not expertly, during the friendly visit that was a homecoming of sorts for the Irish-Catholic world leader.
Nonetheless, one statement was greeted with comedy by right-leaning Twitter users.
Joe Biden Was Just Making a Joke
Biden made an impromptu attempt at humor during his visit with Irish President Michael D. Higgins in Dublin Castle. “I’m not going home. I’m staying here.” He also asked, “Isn’t this an incredible place, all you American reporters? Looks just like the White House, right?”
You Can Stay There?
Republicans had a field day with the statement. They were happy to tell him to stay across the pond and not come back.
Radio host Rick Robinson said, “Good riddance, they can have you.” A conservative podcaster said, “please makes this happen.”
Biden was in Ireland mostly for fun and laughs despite the visit’s official reason: to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that mostly ended a lengthy period of violent actions called The Troubles between Protestants and Catholics.
Joe Biden was teased again on social media for struggling to answer simple questions from children during one embarrassing moment.
The president otherwise acquitted himself well with an important U.S. political ally. Many Americans have ties to Ireland and the White House chose a visit that could endear him to Irish-Americans – an important voting bloc that Biden needs support from in 2024. More than 30 million Americans have some kind of tie to Ireland.
Throughout is modern history Ireland has been militarily neutral. The United States sometimes used Irish air facilities to ferry military personnel to Afghanistan and Iraq during the wars there. The country does have a partnership agreement with NATO, but it is not a member of the alliance. This comes at a time when NATO is top of mind due to the war in Ukraine.
Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a prominent trade partner with the United States. America is Ireland’s number one destination for exports. It is also a location of U.S. corporations due to its enviable tax environment and an English-speaking, educated workforce. Hundreds of American subsidiaries have offices in Ireland, and the country boasts an excellent high-tech cluster of startups in Dublin. Ireland also enjoys a high level of gross domestic product per capita.
Biden looked back at the past of Ireland. “For too long Ireland’s story has been told in the past tense. We tell stories of days gone by. It’s good to remember stories of Irish greats and genius, saints and scholars, poets and politicians, let’s face it, they’re good stories, Biden said in Dublin.
But the president stressed that looking at Ireland through the lens of its present and future success is better.
Where is Joe Biden Headed Next?
Now the question is – what will Biden’s next international trip be? He could stand another visit to Ukraine. An in-person talk with China’s Xi Jinping in Beijing would not hurt relations that are fraught with tension. Biden has long fashioned himself an expert on foreign policy, but he will have to build on diplomatic efforts in regions that are riskier and more critical to U.S. strategic interests such as Eastern Europe and the Indo-Pacific. This would be diplomacy with higher stakes than visiting adoring crowds in Ireland.
Author Expertise and Experience:
Serving as 19FortyFive’s Defense and National Security Editor, Dr. Brent M. Eastwood is the author of Humans, Machines, and Data: Future Trends in Warfare. He is an Emerging Threats expert and former U.S. Army Infantry officer. You can follow him on Twitter @BMEastwood. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and Foreign Policy/ International Relations.