Joe Biden forgets again, confuses Cleveland for Columbus and mixes up dates of campaign train event

The president told a childcare worker in the Buckeye State that he was in Columbus 35 days ago but the reality is that he was there almost a year ago, in March 2020


                            Joe Biden forgets again, confuses Cleveland for Columbus and mixes up dates of campaign train event
Joe Biden said he was in Columbus 35 days ago but in reality he was there almost a year ago (Getty Images)

President Joe Biden is known for making frequent gaffes in public and his opponents have ridiculed him over that. On Tuesday, February 23, the veteran leader goofed up in remembering the location and date of an event in Ohio during his campaign for the White House last year. Biden, 78, was speaking virtually at the White House with a child care worker in Columbus, Ohio, when he made the blunder. It was a roundtable with Black essential workers moderated by Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice where Biden was having a conversation with Carmen Palmer, one of the few participants. 

When Biden invited questions from the participants, Palmer asked him: “When are you going to see us in Columbus?” To that Biden responded: “Well, I’m going to be back in Columbus. I was in Columbus — actually, now it’s about literally 35 days or so ago. I came through in a whistle stop, in a train, when I was trying to get the nomination, when I was trying to win the election. But I like Columbus.” But a search showed that Biden’s whistle-stop event in Ohio took place on September 30, nearly five months ago, and that too was in Cleveland in the Buckeye State and not Columbus. On that day, then-Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign whistle-stop started in Cleveland and stopped in Alliance. From there, the train tour continued to Pittsburg and other cities in neighboring Pennsylvania. 

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Biden was back in Ohio the next month, which is October 2020, but this time, the two venues for his campaign were Toledo and Cincinnati. Biden did campaign in Columbus but that was almost a year ago, on March 10, 2020. It was though not part of a whistle-stop train tour. On that occasion, the former vice president vowed to fight gun violence. However, he could not eventually win the red state in the November presidential election as former president Donald Trump defeated him by over eight percentage points. The last time Ohio went to a Democratic president was in 2012 when Barack Obama contested. 

Joe Biden, then the Democratic presidential nominee, speaks during a campaign stop at the Alliance Amtrak Station September 30, 2020, in Alliance, Ohio (Getty Images)

Biden praises Ohio GOP governor

Speaking to Palmer, Biden said: “And I’m a Democrat, but I think your — I think your governor is doing a pretty decent job of trying to get things going.  I’m — I — you know, I don’t think there’s anything political about this. Some folks are just stepping up, and he’s stepped up in my — my impression. We disagree on things. We used to serve together.  I like him. But it’s not a — I just think this is about — it’s about the science.”

Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine has been praised for his work to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in his state and Biden had applauded his efforts earlier as well. DeWine, who doesn’t have the best of terms with Trump, was also one of the earliest GOP leaders to acknowledge Biden’s win in the last presidential battle. 

Biden, who wished to visit Columbus soon again, then joked telling Palmer: “When I come back, if you see me, you better not say, Joe-who, ok?” 

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