Joe Biden Confused Iraq for Ukraine – But He Isn’t Alone: In late June, on two separate occasions in 24 hours, President Joe Biden mistakenly referred to Ukraine as “Iraq.” The first incident occurred at a fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Maryland, when the president said Iraq as he clearly meant Ukraine.
“If anybody told you — and my staff wasn’t so sure, either — that we’d be able to bring all of Europe together in the onslaught on Iraq and get NATO to be completely united, I think they would have told you it’s not likely,” said Joe Biden. “The one thing Putin counted on was being able to split NATO.”
Then on the next day, as President Joe Biden spoke with reporters outside the White House as he prepared to depart for Chicago, he again made the same gaffe. A reporter asked if believed Russian President Vladimir Putin had been weakened following the mercenary mutiny that occurred this past weekend.
“It’s hard to tell,” Biden replied. “But he’s clearly losing the war in Iraq. He’s losing the war at home. And he has become a bit of a pariah around the world.”
Joe Biden Is A Gaffe Machine
This was hardly the first time that President Joe Biden has said the wrong thing.
He is a self-confessed gaffe machine who has made a fair share of questionable statements in recent years. Earlier in June, Biden raised eyebrows for remarks he made at the end of a speech at the National Safer Communities Summit in Connecticut when he ended his speech by stating, “Alright? God save the Queen, man.”
It was unclear what Biden meant by the words, especially as Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II – the UK’s longest-serving monarch, passed away last September at age 96. The White House Press office has since clarified that President Biden’s remarks were made to an individual in attendance.
It was also back in Jine that Biden made an equally questionable statement when he went off-script at the League of Conservation Voters Annual Capital Dinner, stating, “We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean. We have plans to build in—in Angola one of the largest solar plants in the world. I can go on, but I’m not. I’m going off-script. I’m going to get in trouble.
That statement set off a firestorm of comments on social media, where critics questioned whether Biden is mentally fit to serve another term.
It also came after earlier this June, Biden took a fall after tripping on stage during the United States Air Force Academy’s commencement ceremony.
Ukraine or Iraq – That is the Question
Joe Biden is hardly the first president who has said the wrong thing when going off script.
Former President Donald Trump was quite a gaffe machine as well, making a number of notable statements over the years. Among others, he infamously proclaimed, “I watched our police and our firemen down at 7/11—down at the World Trade Center right after it came down,” when Trump obviously meant 9/11.
It was also just a year ago that former President George W. Bush also said “Iraq” when he meant “Ukraine.” During a speech at his presidential center, Bush stated, “The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq — I mean of Ukraine.”
He cringed and with a shake of the head added, “Iraq… anyway.” The audience chuckled, and Bush played to the crowd stating, “75” – a reference to his age before he returned to his speech. During his term in office, Bush would poke fun at himself for not being the greatest of speakers.
Biden too has been able to offer some self-deprecating humor at times.
“Every once in a while I make a mistake,” President Biden said in May 2022. “Like, well, once a speech.”
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.